(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News)
The baton of Deputy Premier in the Territory has been passed to Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities, and Fifth District Representative, Hon Kye Rymer. Hon. Rymer is taking over from Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, and Seventh District Representative, Hon Natalio Wheatley.
This rotation of the Deputy Premier post was announced by BVI Leader, Hon. Andrew Fahie during the Government’s swearing in service in March. At that time, Hon. Fahie explained that this was an innovative, capacity building strategy. The Premier described the initiative as an unconventional approach to the appointment of a Deputy Premier. He explained that as part of the knowledge sharing initiative, each Minister would be rotated in three-month tours of duty as Deputy Premier during the first year.
Now three months after the first appointment, Hon. Fahie says that the initiative is working well and he spoke highly of how Hon. Wheatley executed the Deputy Premier role.
“I must say firstly that I am very proud of the manner in which Hon. Dr. Wheatley handled himself when circumstances called on him to hold the fort as Deputy Premier while I attended to other official business abroad. Hon. 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.”
In fact, the Premier said that he believes that Hon. Dr. Wheatley is better prepared now to assume the Premiership, should he be called to fill that position in the future.
As he explained how important this Deputy Premier rotation exercise is, the Premier said, “This initiative is about capacity building in the Government and preparing our Ministers to not only excel in their performance in this term, but to serve in future terms of office and at higher levels.”
“After some 20 years as an elected representative, it will soon be time for me to consider myself an old man. All of us are the products of our past experiences, and inside of us reside the wisdom and the guidance of our elders who molded and shaped us to create and support a generation that, like those before, would excel and achieve more than the one before,” the Premier said.
Under this new initiative, the Premier said that there will be no leadership vacuum where all the people with the institutional knowledge retire out of the system at a very fast rate with no knowledge transfer. He said that it will also ensure that the Territory or the Government does not become stagnated.