April 2, 2008
Premier Parry who also holds the responsibility for Statistics and Economic Planning in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) gave a historical account for the establishment of the Statistics and Economic Planning Department on Nevis. This was revealed when he delivered the Keynote Address for the Department’s Statistics Symposium held Tuesday, April 1, 2008.
He spoke also spoke about the Department’s progress made. “I am very happy to see what the Department was all about. It has grown to what it is today and was especially happy when I visited the office and saw about eleven persons employed. I refer to this because many years ago, I would say as early as l882 to 1983, the St Kitts and Nevis Government sought to establish its first development plan. After three years of setbacks from the Central Government level, as the Representative for Nevis, I decided to start the first development Plan on Nevis with one person employed,” he said.
He further added that Nevis established its first Development Bank in the Federation which dealt with matters that pertained to water, electricity, roads, and established priorities and identified sources for funds.
The Minister for Statistics and Economic Planning said during that period, the Government was without a Statistics Department and was not guided definitely by figures, which contributed to an established Department of Statistics and Planning on Nevis.
Premier Parry further spoke of the important issue of statistics currently needed for the island’s Agricultural Planning.
“The country import food and we need to know what we are importing but we also need to know what we produce so that we control the level of import at a particular time. I can remember the days when the Ministry of Trade worked together with the Ministry of Agriculture to band egg importation because we had enough eggs on the island” he said
Statistics also affects the Tourism Industry in terms of knowing accurate figures for visitor’s arrivals, the amount of money the industry added to the economy and the country of origin for visitor’s arrivals on Nevis.
Premier Parry also spoke about the importance of collected quality data for Education and why statistics was important to address the level of skilled workers for Nevis.
“In terms of Government, we need to know how many students are leaving school, the amount of jobs available for them and the level and types of training that we must have. We also need to know interestingly how many would break their bonds [from Government Scholarships provided to study abroad] and not return to Nevis. If this was not done then we would have to import people from other islands [for employment] Indeed it is very important to have an efficient Department that can deliver statistics to government,” he said
Premier Parry said the employees had worked assiduously to achieve an improved Department and commended them.