Premier Andrew Fahie has commended Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley for his performance during his three-month stint as Deputy Premier of the British Virgin Islands.
Dr Wheatley’s tenure came to an end on Wednesday, June 5. The post has now been transferred to Minister of Works, Utilities & Transportation Kye Rymer.
Rymer will also serve in that capacity for three months.
“I must say that I am very proud of the manner in which Honourable Dr Wheatley handled himself when circumstances called on him to hold the fort as Deputy Premier while I attended to other official business abroad,” Premier Fahie said at the during the ceremony on Thursday, June 6.
He continued: “Dr Wheatley demonstrated great enthusiasm when it came to utilizing the opportunity to learn as much as possible about the functions of the office of Deputy Premier as well as that of the office of Premier … He is better prepared today to assume the premiership than before, should he be called to fill that position in the future.”
Capacity building for newbie ministers
In the meantime, Premier Fahie said the initiative is about capacity building for first-time legislators.
After each of the ministers takes their turn at the post of Deputy Premier, one will be chosen for the position permanently.
“Our history in the BVI has been one in which our senior leadership ranks have been occupied by persons who had very long tenures, and I thank those persons for their service. However, it is best when their tenure involves sharing of knowledge and ensuring that capacity building is realized,” Premier Fahie said.
He continued: “By allowing our ministers to take turns in the office of the Deputy Premier we are giving them a wider, more comprehensive view of the functioning of the whole government system while equipping them to take on bigger challenges in the future. I like to say that we are not only outfitting them for success, but for succession.”
Like Dr Wheatley, the Premier said he is confident Rymer will “adapt to the role of Deputy Premier quite easily”.
“He is going to make the most of this learning opportunity.”
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