St Kitts and Nevis: Prime Minister of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Terrance Drew conducted the first Press Conference as PM. During this press conference, the Prime Minister shared updates regarding the government’s steps to develop the country.
He highlighted that here is the update on the progress, addresses matters of concern and provides assurance that this government and its ministers are working on the new day and the better way as promised just two months ago.
The government is committed to the pledges to serve the citizens and residents with sincerity, integrity, and transparency. It has made significant strides on its behalf for the benefit of all. PM Drew mentioned that his government had worked diligently to implement several key initiatives prioritized during our 2022 election campaign.
Furthermore, he promised that the Drew-led administration would make St Kitts and Nevis number one worldwide. He also assured that the concerns and considerations of the Federation’s people would be listened to, as well as deliberate and informed decisions that would serve the best interest of all.
“I will continue to work closely with my Cabinet colleagues to address all challenges and implement strategic action plans to advance our Federation. Despite being a a small island state, we intend to coordinate and collaborate with those who have the necessary resources to contribute to specific areas of national development,” the Prime Minister said.
PM Terrance Drew further mentioned several significant achievements across the various ministries during the two short months we have been in government in order to focus and drive for the betterment of the country, stemming from the mandate given to the new government by the people following the General Elections 2022.
Within the first week in office, PM Drew’s government removed all COVID-19-related restrictions for all travellers. St Kitts and Nevis is totally open for business and has been welcoming all, especially as the nation approaches the official start of the cruise season in just two weeks.
The government has also provided “free” tuition for all students attending Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College, which offers great financial relief to many families throughout the Federation, understanding the importance and the value of education.
Additionally, the process for severance payments has begun for those workers who were sent home and/or fired for not taking the COVID-19 vaccine and did not receive severance payments. Authority has begun to make significant and indelible moves to overhaul the health sector in St. Kitts and Nevis. As per the government press release, PM Terrance Drew promised an efficient system, a system that effectively attends to the needs and growing demands of people, a system that is rewarding for all stakeholders – the nurses, the doctors, the auxiliary staff, and the patients alike. As such, the government has established a special fund to provide financial assistance for children in need of medical assistance overseas. The nation met with the first child benefiting from this initiative on Saturday (15th October 2022), who travelled to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados to undergo ten months of chemotherapy and additional medical treatments.
Within the first month of service, the government has also purchased a much-needed MRI Machine for the JNF General Hospital and intends to have this installed and commissioned by the end of this year. To improve the quality of healthcare provided within Sandy Point and the surrounding communities, St Kitts and Nevis government ensured that there is a medical doctor available 24/7 at the Pogson Medical Centre in Sandy Point.
Dr Drew-led administration is committed to eliminating corruption within the Federation; to this end, the Integrity Commission is currently in its final stages of being fully activated. The Commission will finally get the thrust needed to address corruption by high-level public officers in our Federation by way of amendments to the Integrity in Public Life Act. He happily announced that very soon, the three main pillars of the Anti-Corruption programme will be actioned.
Citizenship by Investment Programme:
The administration intends to strengthen and improve the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme for enhanced sustainability. The consultations with the various stakeholders and the legislation provide for certain committees to be set up to supervise the process has begun. The government will implement strengthened legislative and administrative structures to prevent the “underselling” of the citizenship product and make sure that real estate projects funded by the Programme are fully completed. The plan is to maintain a progressive programme and cement St Kitts and Nevis’ place as a leader in the CBI Industry.
The Poverty Alleviation Programme has successfully transitioned to the Social Services Department to be revamped and re-launched. The program will impact the livelihoods and well-being of many, an investment in that new day and better way. The government has also begun to look at the minimum wage. The committee has begun its work, and very shortly, we will share the report on exactly how much and when it will be paid.
Strong relation with sister island – Nevis:
Terrance Drew’s government is committed to strengthening relations with the sister island Nevis and ensuring that developments and advancements are fairly distributed throughout the Federation. As a demonstration of this commitment to deeper partnerships, the Premier of Nevis, Mark Brantley and PM Terrance Drew met with the Ambassador for the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, Michael Chau-Hong Lin, who provided a grant for the Pinney’s Beach Nevis Sustainable Tourism Enhancement Project, which will enhance the capacity of the economic prospects.
Despite having the smallest, independent nation in the western hemisphere, St Kitts and Nevis has the largest percentage of women in the parliament. Women have been given a fair opportunity, and youth have been given a fair chance to be involved in the decision-making process. PM Drew stated that this is a promise of this administration; to ensure that women hold prominent positions within the government and that this governance understands that gender equality is essential for economic prosperity.
“There is also the possibility of a female Governor-General of St Kitts and Nevis,” he said.
While promising to be transparent and accessible, PM Terrance Drew expressed pleasure towards members of the Federal Cabinet of St Kitts and Nevis and the representatives of the various media houses present and the citizens and residents of the Federation.