In what appears to be a shake-up emanating from recent events, Chairman of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) Board Kelvin Hodge is now expected to tender his resignation.
This is according to Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley, who said in Facebook statement on Wednesday evening, “I have been in communication with the chairman of the board and he has indicated that he will tender his resignation.“
Dr Wheatley did not state whether the chairman was asked to resign or whether he did so voluntarily but noted the decision was not taken lightly.
Premier Wheatley expressed that the term of the remaining members of the Port Authority Board is set to expire within days. He said a new board of suitably qualified persons is expected to be appointed shortly afterwards.
The BVIPA shake-up comes on the heels of the arrest of its Managing Director Oleanvine Maynard, her son Kadeem Maynard, and disgraced former Premier, Andrew Fahie. They were apprehended on charges of drug smuggling and money laundering in Miami just two weeks ago.
Security at the ports
Given the remaining concerns about security at the Ports after Maynard’s arrest and details of her activities as alleged in the affidavit filed in a US court, Dr Wheatley said the reshuffle was important to ensure the board’s integrity was ‘beyond reproach’.
According to Dr Wheatley, an urgent meeting has been scheduled with the governor and commissioner of police to discuss some of the security concerns and what measures can be taken to address them.
He said the legal and practical issues involved in terminating Maynard’s appointment were being examined and updates are to be forthcoming on the issue.
Premier Wheatley offered the full assurance that work at the ports will continue and said the soon to be appointed board will be tasked with the appointment of an interim Managing Director while the recruitment of a substantive Managing Director is underway.
Change is hard
Meanwhile, the territory’s new leader said change is urgently needed in terms of the composition of statutory boards in the territory and how appointments are dealt with more generally.
“It is not good practice to have the same person sitting on multiple statutory boards and we will make the necessary changes in accordance with best practice,“ Dr Wheatley stated.
He noted that an announcement will be made shortly on a date and time when a comprehensive approach is expected to be presented.
“Change will be hard. It will be painful. People we know and care about will be affected,” Dr Wheatley added.
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