Chairman of the Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Andrew Fahie said a government under his stewardship could not handle the territory’s finances worse than the current administration, adding that some persons in government are now even carting off with public funds in droves.
He made the comment while rubbishing claims – purportedly being spread by the current government – that he is not trustworthy enough to become finance minister if his party wins the next general election.
“I remember when I went to Anegada one person told me that a person in the present government said you cannot afford for Fahie to become the minister of finance, because he will go away with the money. And I said ‘wow’. I told them the beauty of that one is that one made me laugh more than anything else I have ever heard about what they say about me,” Fahie told persons at his party’s ‘Mix and Mingle’ event held in Pockwood Pond last evening, January 25.
According to him, the territory’s next finance minister will have no ‘finance’ to oversee because it has been depleted by the current National Democratic Party (NDP) government.
“Right now, whoever becomes the next minister of finance will only have the title ‘Minister of Finance’ with no finance. So nobody should worry about the next Minister of Finance going away with any money; it doesn’t have any to go with. But it just shows you how the branding [of me] has already started.”
“Mind you, when you look at every project with them (current Government) – and they going with the money in droves, but they look over there and say ‘don’t watch me with this bag; keep an eye on Fahie.”
Fahie then listed a number of capital projects and money transfer that he said remain questionable.
“The cruise pier alone gone with $50 million [but] ‘keep an eye on Fahie’. They take $8 million from sewerage money to do the East End/Long Look sewerage, diverting it without proper permission. We don’t even know truly what was done – and [they claimed that they] put it over the cruise pier project, and they have already told you ‘don’t mind me with that; keep an eye with Fahie.”
“Every time you look with every project it’s [budget] triple. The Protocols [for Effective Financial Management] were supposed to stop this, but all they tell you ‘keep an eye on Fahie’. It isn’t that some of what they did in terms of projects is bad, but there is no accountability; there is no transparency,” added the VIP chairman.
He reiterated that he will champion the cause for greater transparency and accountability in government if he becomes premier, adding that he is aware that he would be watched closely because of how he is being branded.
“I know that I am going to be tested more then even those in power, and held at a higher standard than even those in power – which is amazing because I don’t have the Treasury. But because of certain brands that they want to put on me, they are going to put me on a higher and even [under] more intense microscope.”
“But I don’t mind, because what you see here with Fahie is what you get. You got the good and you got the bad. And most of you know my good and most of you know my bad. But you know my good far outweigh my bad,” Fahie further said while noting that all his actions as leader would be in the best interest of the British Virgin Islands.
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