BVI News

COMMENTARY: COI pulling curtain on 30 years of incompetence, waste

By Dickson Igwe, Contributor

The Commission of Inquiry (COI) is presenting a mirror for all residents to look at. What it reveals is not good.

The Investigation into Virgin Islands governance is showing up this country in myriad ways.

First, the COI may be revealing that there is a clear lack of accountability with the powers that be acting with impunity, especially with regard to tax payer cash.

Talk of transparency is just that — talk. The proof of the pudding is in the taste and the way the pudding is digested. Treating people brashly and without respect and courtesy — especially public servants who may not have seen eye to eye with specific politicians — is another culture of poor governance in the British Virgin Islands that leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

The preceding is no surprise.

The fact is that this “society” can be very cruel to its own people. These are the residents who may not be in favour with the powers that be; especially those residents who are economically vulnerable, mainly people on contract.

These residents are frequently disposed of very unkindly. There is a culture of fear, with the outspoken swiftly victimised.

Agencies such as the Public Complaints Commission and Financial Investigations Agency have zero powers of intervention in most matters with an all-powerful Cabinet that is judge, jury, and executioner in most matters.

The Virgin Islands possesses a Cabinet that is essentially a dictatorship until General Elections.

The results of this impunity in governance is evidenced by a “shoddy” national infrastructure that leaves one to wonder where all the supposed billions of dollars in revenues received by government over the past 40 years have gone.

This country remains highly underdeveloped in terms of its national services with crumbling infrastructure, and a social infrastructure more attuned with a poor country, than with a country with a supposed annual income per capita of over $40,000.

That is one reason so many government scholarship holders never return home after their expensive university education. There has been no vision in governance apart from a spend, spend, and more spend culture.

The Commission of Inquiry is pulling the curtain on 30 years of incompetence and waste.

What it reveals is a country with the wealth of a rich country but that possesses the infrastructure of a poor country. And even while the Commission is conducting investigations there remains a contempt for the public purse, and public opinion, in the formulation of policy, especially policy on financial matters.

The public, from this writer’s observation, is so fed up that it no longer cares. Consequently, the COI is the last chance for this country to establish honest and effective governance. The country is at the proverbial crossroad.

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  1. the captain says:

    it is very hard to hear this comment but i respect your opinion, congratulation for ths


    Like 35
    • Foolishness and Stupidness says:

      It is a shame that the CoI, which is doing an important job, has lawyers who are breaking the law.

      Dislike 30
    • Abdication says:

      of Government responsibility. Deliberately obstructing $700m of rebuilding funds is ensuring we remain in penury, and our infrastructure third-world, not to mention the missed economic stimulus. This legacy born of an unhinged personal antipathy to the UK, and petty jealousy, will form the epitaph of this “administration”.

    • Professor says:

      What’s also needed is a long term plan starting with rebuilding infrastructure and improving education.

  2. YOUTH says:

    This man is a f**l

    Like 2
    Dislike 25
  3. Wow says:

    I usually detest what this man has to say but for the first time he is on point and I would like to give him a hug. What he said is all true and hopefully in the coming months the BVI will be on the road to a bright and wonderful future for everyone. Not just the few who have robbed the Treasury all these years.

    Like 39
  4. Well said says:

    Very Good contribution.

    Like 30
  5. Sad says:

    The fact is that many BVI Politicians have been very cruel to its own people whilst portraying the UK as the villan.

    Like 44
  6. lol says:

    all of a sudden all the blatant corruption they was screaming about to win election is just little flaws of a “young administration” now. let them take what they deserve man… bout COI leave man shaken up.. FOH

    Like 20
  7. Think about it says:

    Was a CoI really necessary to reach the conclusions presented? Anyone taking the interest could have gleaned the same from reading the press (printed or online) over the last 20 years. The more shocking issue is that elected politicians (either party) have turned a blind eye and have done nothing about it, and in doing so have sent the message that cronyism, nepotism, corruption, drug running, etc., are normal activities. More bizarrely, many are in church on Sundays.

  8. Sad. says:

    I am a 9th District resident, but at times make my way over to Tola. In conversations I have heard members of our civim servants express their belief in disbelief that our country has sink to this unbelievable low level. But you know what? We will rise again.

  9. Hard Truth says:

    It is a hard truth but the truth nonetheless. Great article. We have gone on for too long like this and we need to expect better of our elected officials.

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