Premier and leader of the 11-month old Virgin Islands Party administration has unleash a stinging response to Opposition Leader Hon. Marlon Penn, saying that the VIP cannot undo the damage done by the former National Democratic Party in such a short space of time.
In an11-minute recorded statement issued today, February 5, Premier Fahie said, “the former Cabinet of the NDP are the ones who got the Territory into the mess that we are in today. Now we are fixing this Territory so that everyone without exception benefits.”
Premier Fahie was defending former NDP member, Hon. Alvera Maduro-Caines, who crossed the floor to join VIP on January 20. He said that there has been an attack on her by the opposition leader.
The VIP leader also defended his government against accusations of victimization, lack of transparency and cronyism, stating that, accountability and transparency are undeniably at higher levels than in the days and years before 25 February, 2019.
“While Hon. Penn and his cohorts sling mud at your new Government, the facts show that it was under the former NDP Administration, of which Hon. Penn was a Minister, that scandals and corruption such as the $7.2 million BVI/BV Airways deal, the $1.6 million Elmore Stoutt High School perimeter wall project, and the more than $50 million in cost overruns at the Tortola Pier Park project, reigned with not a single answer from the then Government to the many, many questions,” he said.
“Such depravity cannot be matched nor surpassed in just 11 months – not even in Hon. Penn’s wildest dreams; and this he knows,” the Premier said.
He said that Hon. Penn would gladly have the citizens of the Virgin Islands forget this mal-administration or at least distance him from it.
“But this misconduct remains like an anchor tied around the necks of all Virgin Islanders today, even though Hon. Penn and his cohorts are no longer running the Government. It was this reckless misbehaviour that caused the BVI to be burdened with such onerous bureaucratic controls as the Protocols for Effective Financial Management – which the NDP Government was in violation of, and also for the BVI’s governance standards and the moral values of Virgin Islanders to be compared with that of the Turks and Caicos as is happening now,” he argued.
Premier Fahie said that the facts show that Hon. Penn’s labels of ineptitude, tyranny, victimisation and cronyism, are characteristic of his party, the NDP – 'not your’ present 11-month-old Government.
“A Government that has a clearly articulated vision to unlock the BVI’s potential and lift the quality of life of all citizens, as your present Government has done, is not inept. A Government that passed two budgets in less than 10 months and started the New Year with a fully-approved budget in place is the definition of competence,” he stated.
The VIP leader said that, the new Government, together with Hon. Maduro-Caines, remains laser focused on the vision of transforming the Virgin Islands into a leading regional economy by 2025 through Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Local and Foreign Investment.
“We are diligently working to diversify our range of economic drivers, developing our people and equipping them for long-term success in the global competitive business world, and ensuring that Virgin Islanders benefit tangibly from participation in the economy,” Premier Fahie stated.