Nevis Premier – Joesph Parry
December 08, 2009
Premier of Nevis Hon. Joseph Parry gave the assurance on Monday that the Nevis Island Administration stood ready to continue to work with the private sector.
The remark came when in the wake of legislation passed in the Nevis Island Assembly on Monday that cleared the way for the acquisition of the assets of the Caribbean Cable Communications a foreign owned company which began operations in Nevis 23 years ago.
“The government has stated its willingness again and again to work with the private sector. The government has had its challenges with Tower Hill Estates, a property which was acquired under unusual circumstances in a way that allowed no taxes to be paid to the government.
“The government has worked patiently with the new owner of Tower Hill to have the matter rectified,” he said.
The Premier also referred to a land deal made by a previous Administration which had to be rectified since the sitting NIA took office.
He explained that in 2005, the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) allowed 600 acres of the island’s best land in the Pinney’s area, to be sold to the Canadian company Newfound for hotel and villa development.
The people of Nevis were informed that a five- star Hotel called DeVere out of England, would be built but when the property was investigated, it was discovered that it was only a three-star chain hotel. The company went bankrupt shortly after.
“The CCM government surrendered title to Newfound before they were fully paid. Yet, they allowed themselves to make financial arrangement with a company in Trinidad, for a loan which allowed no payment on principle for a specific period and with full interest on the principle for the same period, until the loan was paid in full at the end of the loan period.
“The NRP government came to power in 2006 and negotiated terms with Newfound and recovered 172 acres of land for the people of Nevis. Additionally, all historical sites were declared crown lands,” he said.
Mr. Parry said that a number of investors had shown their willingness to work with the NIA led by the Nevis Reformation Party and pointed to the construction of an upscale shopping centre with a group from New York named NAMDAR. That project is slated to commence by year end.
He also spoke to the successful negotiations the NIA had concluded with another private sector company, West Indies Power (WIP) to harness geothermal energy by late 2010.
“All these activities were criticized by the CCM. They claim that the NRP led Government was selling out Nevis,” he said.
With regard to a public comment made in the media recently, Mr. Parry said that the government of Nevis had shown again and again its good relationship with major corporate citizens on the island including LIME, Digicel, TDC and the Four Seasons Resort.
“Regardless of comments of a negative nature this government will continue to do everything in its power to work with the private sector and to promote policies and programs that will redound to the benefit of all the people of the island,” he said.
In conclusion the Premier said that every effort would be made with regard to the acquisition of the CCC to have the matter resolved in an amicable and peacefully manner.
He said he and his government wished to assure the public that the process of acquisition set out the road map for the proper compensation of assets own by the shareholders of CCC.