BVI News

OT director in BVI on governance, recovery-focused visit

Director for Overseas Territories, Ben Merrick (Photo from Bermudan Premier’s Twitter)

Director for Overseas Territories in the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ben Merrick is currently in the territory on a visit focused on local governance, financial services, and the recovery of the British Virgin Islands.

During his four-day visit, the Overseas Territories director will be meeting government leader Premier Dr D Orlando Smith, Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie, as well as local Cabinet where he is expected to discuss how future grant funding and loan guarantees from Britain will be used to support BVI’s recovery and development.

A media release from the Office of the Governor said Merrick will also be visiting government departments and agencies such as the territories constabulary, the Department of Disaster Management, the BVI Ports Authority, the BVI Airports Authority and the Recovery and Development Agency.

It is said that he will be looking first-hand at how financial and technical support from the UK after the hurricanes were utilized.

The media released noted that the UK’s support was used to help rebuild local infrastructure and create housing assistance to some of the most vulnerable in society.

Merrick’s visit to the territory comes months after the UK’s Foreign Affairs Committee opened up an inquiry concerning the future of its constitutional relationship with the British Virgin Islands and other Overseas Territories.

The results from that inquiry are still being discussed, BVI News understands.

The Overseas Territories director’s visit also follows a visit from the UK minister responsible for Overseas Territory’s Lord Tariq Ahmad in late July.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. wow says:

    Well look what we come to…Thanks to the NDP

    Like 9
    Dislike 5
    • Unfortunate says:

      @wow: you see the same foolishness. Boss, if VIP was in it would be the same thing. These people have an agenda. You can’t see that? You still with the slave mentality of pointing at the other slaves that you can’t see what the master doing? You don’t think that the government of the UK have corruption in it too? All you have to do is read the UK news. Don’t let them make us feel as we are worse than they are. It’s time to stand up for our country man. This is the swamp that needs draining!

      Like 7
      Dislike 14
  2. Stop sleeping says:

    When are we going to get out of this nonsense with some random person from the UK coming to tell us how to manage ourselves? I don’t know about you but it makes me feel primitive, uneducated and of very low self esteem. We should be at the point where we can manage our own affairs. Nobody from London who comes here for a day or even a governor who comes here for 3years can take better care of our country than we can. Our problem is that we don’t trust each other. We hate on each other. We bad-minded as hell. And we tear down each other in the presence of these UK people and give them the excuse that they want to come in. When they come do you think they will put our local interest over the the interest of the UK and it’s citizens. You all better keep an eye on where this money is spent and who gets the contracts because everyday I see a different European face walking through the place and saying they doing this and that. We might very well end up paying back this loan while most of the money goes to European companies while we locals stay here and say everything bad and corrupt about our own local companies. For the most degrees per capita in the Caribbean we certainly do not use our brain cells enough. It’s clouded by plain old bad-mindedness. The divide and conquer strategy of old is being worked right here in our country and we are totally blind to it. I don’t know what is wrong with us. Are we are soo blind that we can’t see what is happening?

    Like 9
    Dislike 17
    • What Time Is It? says:

      One of our main problems is that we TRUST our politicians to much. We go to the poles, vote them in, then we fall in a slumber and let them do what they want for the next 4 years, or 3; including exempt the much needed taxes the country needs for proper running, Spend and not account for our money’s, give away water rights, prohibit us from catching our fish, extend fishing grounds limit +++. Meanwhile the EGm show, Donal Decastro, Gordon, Scatliffe and Dougie Wheatley’s hour-and-a-half hardly receive 5 calls or anonymous Text messages. In all honesty, its not surprising we are in the deep Sh…t we are in.
      The lyrics from Michael Jackson’s song, ‘Man in the Mirror” applies

    • Abraham says:

      @stopsleeping. What do you mean? He wouldn’t be here if we could govern ourselves. And what do you mean by saying we MIGHT pay the loan back?
      Do you care how poorly managed our country is? Do you approve of the $7.2M airline investment made without any due diligence? Are you satisfied with our broken schools, our broken roads, our broken water supply, our broken power supply, our slow internet? If you are, then God almighty I hope you can’t vote!

      WE NEED A NEW FORM OF GOVERMENT, because our current system is broken!

      Like 12
      Dislike 1
  3. Anonymous says:

    Some people just like to blog for lack of knowledge. We need to start educating ourselves as BVI Islander. The BVI is an overseas Territory dependant to the UK. The UK as standard always appoint an individaul to be over the OTs. Which are Cayman, Turks and Carcious, Anguilla, Monsterrat, Bermuda and BVI. It is responsiblity to visit these territories from to time. Things he look for is corporate governace how countries government is structured the chain of command,who is responsible for what and how measures are in place and carried out. What legislations countries have in place to deal with local and international laws. As offhore indusrty is our major income per capital with change that is being imposed on us by the Uk which we have no choice but to comply discussions will continue on such matters and negotions as the best way the BVI can be robust of such. Plus he need to look at our outline plan legislation that was just past in the House for our Recovery remember UK is loaning us this money and whith such a large sum on money their must be an oversight by them.

    Just my intake

    Like 22
    Dislike 1
  4. Anonymous says:

    The UK assistance was used to line the pockets of the politicians. There has been no recovery. Roads, sewers, schools, government buildings all in a shamble. Debris and abandoned cars and boats everywhere. If another hurricane were to strike there would be no difference before or after. If the UK wants to assist then don’t provide money or guarantees. Provide companies to rebuild and the UK should pay the direct. The locals can’t manage getting out of bed no less large reconstruction projects.

    Like 28
    Dislike 2
  5. In aTrance says:

    Who else is there to thank after 7 years consecutively in office? They got so cocky about their mandate that they gave up 1 year and called the first-ever Snap election to catch the other parties off guard and win another term. Well their evil worked and they got another 4 years…and here we are; in deep S???t Let’s see if their tricks will work this time around.
    Hurricanes Irma and Maria shed light in the darkness which also worked out to our benefit causing the party to freeze first then crumble.

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
    • SMH says:

      I wouldn’t like the BVI to really suffer. Seems too many forget how the place was just a year ago. Not one government worker has been laid off and while recovery has been slow, I can’t believe people are going to really say that the Government hasn’t done anything. That is very unfair to say.

      Like 6
      Dislike 7
  6. Curious says:

    Why should the UK trust us . Hasn’t the ministry just waived the tender process on another consultancy saying it was urgent . This 14 months after the school was destroyed.
    The balance of the wall will also now become urgent because remember election is round the corner . Work means votes.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
    • Problem says:

      If they rush things like in the past, we will complain. Now that they’re taking their time, planning and following the rules of the UK, CDB etc. to properly plan and try to get it right once and for all, we are still complaining. What do we really want?

      Like 5
      Dislike 4
  7. It says:

    is very clear, judging from the huge dislikes for opinions such as those of “Unfortunate” and Stop Sleeping,” that some people still live in the 15th century mentally, where the audacity of expressing self reliance and self worth by another group of people is bad self expression, because that expression rejects the status quo, a white European nation dominating an Afro Caribbean nation..

    Further, this article has also generated a few very degrading and hatefilled comments. Evidently, there are a very large number of haters of BVIslanders among us, and they are not of brown skin.

    Every nation of people and every race have the human right to self determination. See United Nations Charter on Human Rights.

    So if you “Anonymous” and others of your kind believe that you are ordained by God to rule over other human beings into perpetuity, you are gravely mistaken.

    As our leaders with nationalistic pride are sent by God to leads us, they are struck down that your agenda may continue.

    Let it be known however, the bears may be gone, but their cubs are growing, and growiung and growing. Here is an example from one of those cubs by “Stop Sleeping”:

    “When are we going to get out of this nonsense with some random person from the UK coming to tell us how to manage ourselves? I don’t know about you but it makes me feel primitive, uneducated and of very low self esteem. We should be at the point where we can manage our own affairs.”

    Lastly, continue to spew your narrow minded satan possessed vitriol of hate, and may it take your soul to a very fine place when your time here has ended.

    God bless the Virgin Islands and its people!!! and all the beautiful people of the diaspora and Africa!!! And, may God also bless the decent minded Europeans that call our shores home.

  8. DUDE says:

    Will the real slim shady please stand up. Did the real slim shady just touch down?

  9. Buffett says:

    The problem is most of us think of the Government as our employer rather than simply a facilitator of common goals. In fact, the Government employs a large percentage of the population. Without our Government paychecks we couldn’t buy groceries or pay our staggering electricity bills. Most of us are under educated and poorly trained by competitive standards. We need to retain our jobs even if we aren’t doing that well.

    What we need at this time is a national consensus on where we are going as a nation and how we are going to get there. Then we need to have a detailed transparent plan against which we can measure the success of our elected officials and ourselves as employees.

Leave a Comment