Recent legal proceedings have revealed that well in excess of $20 million earmarked for the National Sewerage Programme’s East End/Long Look Project were misused over the decades.
This is according to Premier Andrew Fahie who made the statement during last week’s relaunching ceremony of the sewage project.
He said: “The people of the East End/Long Look definitely need the apology because there’s more to this project that you will hear soon. The amount of millions of dollars that the people of the Virgin Islands had to pay out for this project that has never been completed, it will bother your mind.”
He added, “Some of it has just completed itself in the courts and I can’t speak any further. So a lot of political games got played with this project and we paid for it and are going to pay for it. Millions literally and I’m not talking in the tens of millions, I’m talking in the twenties of millions, and the project hasn’t been completed.”
Better management of tax funds needed
The Premier said better management of the taxpayer’s money is needed in the territory as the previous mismanagement of those funds have disadvantaged many other projects as a result.
“I said it already and I’ll say it again, all these monies that you were warning against for many years and now I reach as Minister of Finance I have to be the one to go and look for the money to go and payout for the things that I was warning against,” he said.
“Everybody forget about that now and asking where is the money to move forward? Why this project isn’t being done? And why this other project isn’t being done? We have to make better decisions with the taxpayers’ money because it does come back to haunt you,” the Premier said.
In March 2016 when Fahie was an Opposition member, he accused the then governing National Democratic Party of illegally transferring $8 million from a loan meant for the East End/Long Look Sewerage Project to the Cruise Pier Development Project without the approval of the House of Assembly.
According to Fahie recently, some of the funds was paid back to the government, but it was not redirected to the sewerage project from which it was initially taken.
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