The contracts in contention were said to have been issued by the Recovery & Development Agency (RDA) through a $65 million loan borrowed from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) back in 2018.
“Some of our supporters of the government even got angry when they heard persons that they claimed were not supporting the government got the contracts and I’m telling them, ‘I hear you, I understand you, and I am sympathetic to what you’re saying’,” Premier Fahie said during a recent House of Assembly (HOA) sitting.
The Premier argued that it was better a Virgin Islander or a Belonger-owned company receives RDA contracts than to have them leave the shores of the BVI.
“Sometimes you have to put people above the politics,” Premier Fahie said. “And yes, we know that we are very appreciative of those who support us but then there was some who got [and] some who didn’t get it this time. But it is based on a system of transparency.”
Premier Fahie expressed that the majority of these RDA projects – more than 85 percent – were awarded to local contractors.
And according to the Premier, his government not only put parameters in place for RDA monies to remain within the local economy, but it also increased the tender ceiling to allow local contractors to bid for higher RDA projects.
Premier Fahie further suggested that the disbursement of the $65 million CDB loan was hamstrung by infighting within the former governing party and the strict conditions that had been placed on the loan.
“I am convinced that nothing was done with the $65 million [CDB loan signed by the former DDP administration] because the persons of the day were not getting along and they could not guarantee that it was going to go to the people who they wanted it to go to,” Premier Fahie said.
According to the Premier, the policies that his party implemented thus far were able to help all of the people of the Virgin Islands, whether they’ve been supporters or not.