Nevis Island Administration Minister – Robelto Hector
September 29, 2009
Nevisians who live in the Washington DC area in the United States of America were challenged to be the best ambassadors they could be for the advancement of their island.
Minister in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Robelto Hector issued the challenge when he delivered the keynote address on the topic “Being an Ambassador for Nevis” at the 5th Annual Awards Banquet of the Nevisian Association of Washington DC on Friday. The event, a fund raiser, was held at the Hyatt Hotel.
“I challenge you to be ambassadors for Nevis wherever you might go. However, in taking on this role, you will be required to protect and at times defend the good name of your island and the livelihood of its people, from any fallout that threatens to have a negative impact on its progress and development.
“As ambassadors, you will be called upon to promote what is good and enchanting about Nevis and when the occasion demands it, to put a spin on or to correct any negative impressions or stories that may surface in newspapers and magazines articles here in the United States of America,” he said.
Mr. Hector told them as patriotic Nevisians and dedicated ambassadors, they were duty bound to defend the land of their birth with an enduring sense of commitment but in order to be effective ambassadors, they should remain in close contact with what happened in Nevis.
“Too often, our citizens migrate abroad and become so wrapped up with the challenges of working, studying and living in a developed country that it becomes very difficult for them to stay in touch with the home base.
“To be effective ambassadors, you should have the facts about important developments and happenings in Nevis at your finger tips. In order to accomplish this, you should gain access to an information source that is reliable and factual and you should take time out to tap this source with great regularity,” he said.
Mr. Hector noted that once they were thoroughly briefed on what occurred on Nevis they would be well placed to carry out their roles as ambassadors from an informed position of strength. Then they would be able to counter any half-truths or negative information about Nevis.
The Minister pointed to a number of key initiatives the NIA had engaged in its quest to combat crime, develop the island’s human resource, health care, housing stock, education and social standards.
“Are you aware that there are 18 young men in Trinidad pursuing a three month training course in auto-mechanics, plumbing, electricity, carpentry and masonry at a cost to the Government of EC$240,000.00; [that] a new Logiq 7 ““ Ultra Sound Machine was commissioned at the hospital on Thursday, September 24, 2009 at a cost of $313,026.88. The Hospital Auxiliary contributed $75,000.00 and the Bank of Nevis $15,000.00; that there is a programme within the Ministry of Social Transformation targeting young men at risk offering them training modules in Electricity, Plumbing and Blue Print Reading.
“The NIA Housing Programme has so far added in excess of 223 homes to the housing stock in Nevis; that there are presently some 156 students pursuing tertiary education abroad and receiving government assistance. These are just some of the stubborn facts about your country at this time,” he said.
Notwithstanding, Mr. Hector thanked the Nevisians for their continued support to the island in particular through remittances. He said the global recession had impacted negatively on Nevis and their financial assistance to those left at home contributed significantly to the island’s Gross Domestic Product and economy.
He said Tourism remained the mainstay of the Nevis economy and as ambassadors they should lure visitors to Nevis. Mr. Hector noted that the NIA’s marketing strategy was a costly undertaking and any additional support to bring visitors to Nevis would be welcome.
The Minister also pointed to the importance of the offshore financial services sector to the island’s economy and any assistance that would help to revitalize and rebrand the jurisdiction would also be welcomed.
Mr. Hector also used the opportunity to congratulate Awardees Dr Everson Hull and Mr. Deon Daniel citing that it was important to acknowledge their efforts and contributions because as Nevisians we had all benefitted in some small way from their contribution.