CBI programme marks improvement under leadership of PM Terrance Drew

Dr Terrance Drew- Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis spoke of the internal review of the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme at the National Assembly held today. The review by the Prime Minister highlighted several of the unfair practices which the former administration did and the role of the labour party in strengthening it.

Prime Minister Terrance Drew, credits to Facebook
Prime Minister Terrance Drew, credits to Facebook

St Kitts and Nevis: Dr Terrance Drew- Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis spoke of the internal review of the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme at the National Assembly held today. The review by the Prime Minister highlighted several of the unfair practices that the former administration did and the role of the Labour Party in strengthening it.

The Prime Minister of the country while providing a statement mentioned that the Citizenship by Investment Programme has turned 40. The PM highlighted that it came into existence in 1984 which is just a year after the country got independence in 1983.

He added that under the CBI Programme, the applicants who satisfy Due Diligence can make the investments in the country. As the applicants satisfy the procedure of Due Diligence, they become eligible for the citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis. 

CBI programme marks improvement under power of PM Terrance Drew, credits to Facebook
CBI programme marks improvement under power of PM Terrance Drew, credits to Facebook

Further, the PM emphasized that from the time he took the office that is from August 6, 2022, his priorities have been to go deep into the operations of the CBI unit. He casted light on how the CBI programme has been significantly contributing towards the economy.

“Our CBI programme has been the pioneer of the global investor migration industry,” mentioned the Prime Minister, Terrance Drew.

By stating such a statement, he declared that the program has allowed the nation to thrive beyond what could have been possible without it. He added that formerly, the CBI programme has only been used by the ones who have bought second homes in the country, St Kitts and Nevis. However, it got expanded in 2008.

As St Kitts and Nevis was already a global innovator, it looked forward towards more investments. He said that as there was an economic downturn and the sugar industry was closed, the CBI programme turned into an effective way to continue the growth and development of the country.

Further, he stated that as of the times St Kitts and Nevis Labor Party has come into the administration, the authorities are making tireless efforts for the country’s  development and to make it compete with other countries worldwide.

He significantly mentioned the period between 2008 and 2015 and casted light that it was the Labour Party which made the efficient usage of the CBI for the infrastructural development of St Kitts and Nevis. Dr Denzil Douglas, then prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis made the appropriate use of CBI revenues for the country’s infrastructural development.

The CBI revenues were used in building affordable homes for the citizens. Not only this, the money as well was utilized on advancing education by improving school campuses and by hiring more teachers.

The value has been added to every domain of the country, with this even the tourism industry is not left. And, the epitome to this is the hotels like Park Hyatt and Kittitian Hill in the country. He as well has launched economically beneficial programs which include people empowerment program and the “Reach Program”.

The Prime Minister added that the revenue by CBI has been put in so effectively and efficiently that it is bound to the overall growth and development of the country through the economic boost and providing certain amenities to the residents of the nation

“CBI has given us the opportunity to prosper without relying too much on international financial aid,” mentioned the Prime Minister Terrance Drew.

He provided the stance of economic diversification and referred to it as one of the seven pillars of a sustainable island state agenda. And the country will witness the country welcoming cash from various sectors that is tourism, construction, water and energy infrastructure, agriculture, offshore education and manufacturing. 

As he mentioned economic diversification as a significant part of the development, the Prime Minister outlined certain of the negatives which the economy suffered due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Prime Minister added that all the countries had removed the restrictions, however, St Kitts and Nevis remained behind. This was because of the poor operations by the previous administration.

While listing down the number of citizenships provided under the programme, the Prime Minister revealed the criticism for the prison project. This project is one of the approved projects by the previous administration.

Under this, the conditions were that in case any of the investors wants to invest can invest in the prison project. And, for this, 5500 main applicants that are citizenships were used. They had to go through the due diligence procedure and the screening procedures before having access to the nation’s passport.

Adding the connected justification to his stance, the Prime Minister added that if each family has four members and thinking of it, if 5500 gets multiplied by 4, the result would be 20,000. Such count is unjustified as this is half of the population of St Kitts and Nevis, and allowing access of such a great number to the Prison Project is not the appropriate plan.

Highlighting the former justification, he showed criticism for the previous administration for wasting the revenue generated from CBI. And, laid an emphasis that all this money could be utilized for the development of the country. 

Aligning with all the failures in the operations by the previous administration, he also added that unfairness does not even have the limit as during that period, investors were paying much less than they actually were required to. The Prime Minister even referred to this by saying they were selling the citizenships like Black Pudding.

Adding to it, he mentioned the Sixth Sense Hotel that was supposed to be built in St Kitts and Nevis, however, the investors left in between and went to Grenada. The hotel recently had its opening this weekend where even the Prime Minister was invited.

Positively, under his administration, significant changes came for its success and now the government is celebrating the successful 40 years of Citizenship by Investment Programme.