Photo Credit: Clifton Skelton/BVI Platinum News
The government and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) have launched the much needed $65.2M rehabilitation and reconstruction loan, to help the BVI with its recovery.
During the launch held yesterday, April 10 at Treasure Isle Hotel, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith said that the project launch signals that they are moving full steam ahead.
"My government is now ready to begin injecting this money into the economy to rehabilitate and rebuild our schools, our roads, our ferry terminals, and other infrastructure, working hand-in-hand with CDB, as well as our local contractors and others to this end," he told the gathering.
He said, "There are so many ‘wins’ in store for our people as a result of this project."
Also speaking at the launch were Ms. Diana Wilson Patrick, who represented the CDB Board of Governors and Financial Secretary, Mr. Glenroy Forbes.
Premier Smith said that weeks following the devastation by the hurricanes, CDB were one of the first to come forward offering help to the Territory.
"Indeed, CDB has yet again, “put its money where its mouth is”. Relationships such as these are just one reason we are able to look ahead with the hope and promise of a brighter tomorrow."
He explained that the $65.2M, which will be disbursed over the next three years, comes primarily in the form of a loan but there is also a grant portion which does not have to be paid back.
He indicated that there is so much to be done, and the loan project is just what they need at this time to help foster that ripple effect they expect to see happening in the economy because of the local spending.
The Finance Minister also promised transparency with the procurement process.
"The CDB loan is about helping to put more money in the hands of the public through the creation of jobs. Our people will and must be involved in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of this Territory," he said.
Premier Smith added, "The project manager spoke about the procurement process, it is my Government’s intention to instill confidence through the transparency, objectivity and predictability of the outcome of our procurement processes."