It appears Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie is doing a second round of flip-flopping in relation to the proposed extension of the runway at Terrence B Lettsome International Airport, Beef Island.
The first apparent flip-flopping came last week Friday when he went against his strong opposition to the project, and declared that the territory cannot afford not to afford the development at this time. This is what he said last week: “The ‘wise’ among us believe that now is not the right time; that we cannot afford to get this [airport project] done. But they are wrong! The truth is that we cannot afford not to.”
The second flip-flopping came today (July 5) when Fahie declared that the territory cannot afford the airport project. “Earlier this year, I clearly stated that we cannot afford the extension of the airport project at this time… My position then and now remains the same,” Fahie asserted today in a statement.
How it is being done
When BVI News Online asked Fahie if he is contradicting himself, he stated that he supports the project, but not the way in which the government is proposing that it should be undertaken.
But even Fahie went on to admit that the government has not clearly stated how it would source funding for the proposed development.
“[My] statements were solely hinged on the proposals being brought forward for discussions by the NDP Government during the deliberations of the 2017 Budget Estimates – among other times. These proposals were and still are a $153 million airport runway extension project, where the funding source was not made known to the public or House of Assembly, nor the ability of Government to repay, coupled with no meaningful involvement of our people in any respect directly or indirectly, while potentially compromising the social fabric of our Virgin Islands for future generations.”
“To date, a shovel of dirt has not been thrown to extend the airport. But over $6 million has gone through the door in consultancy,” Fahie further lamented, adding that the government has declined to answer a number of questions posed in the House of Assembly regarding the proposed airport project.
He however declared: “I want to assure the people of the Virgin Islands that I will remain consistent in my efforts to develop a territory with the people, for the people, and by the people. As a result, I will guide my actions accordingly.”
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