BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 28th August 2020) – Nevis’ Premier Mark Brantley continues to air his view that the monetary benefits of the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme of the Federation has seen Nevis being unfairly treated over the years and he is hoping to further address the issue at an upcoming meeting with Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris.
Brantley was at the time responding to a question posed by a reporter at his monthly press conference held on Thursday 27th August 2020.
“I continue to speak about it publicly because for many years, it appears that some were under an illusion that the CBI monies that came in from the negotiations of our passports- which is our national patrimony- that it somehow belonged to the government and people of St.Kitts, and I want to make it very clear that our passport says on it St. Christopher and Nevis, and for a lot of years Nevis was locked out.”
Brantley told that he is scheduled to sit with the Prime Minister on Friday 28th August and expressed hope that such will be “ an item on the agenda to determine what we do going forward in terms of the sharing of the Citizens By Investment monies that have come in.”
“So when Nevisians speak up it is not that we’re trying to be difficult, it’s not that we’re trying to create division, we’re saying no, we want what is rightfully ours as share,” he stated.
Brantley went on to say: “The passport is a national asset and so if it’s negotiated and hundreds of millions of dollars roll into Basseterre, I think the blindest or us can see that there has to be some equity in the sharing of those resources. So often I hear the talk because I understand that people look at projects in St. Kitts and St.Kitts appears to be shining but Nevis of course is not shining as brightly but when you look at the underlying circumstances, it is because the CBI monies are disproportionate being deployed on the island of St. Kitts and that is why I’ve always said we must encourage the kind of government which sees the nation of St.Kitts and Nevis; not the island of St. Kitts and the island of Nevis but the nation of St.Kitts and Nevis so that the resources are deployed can be deployed across the board to develop the entire country, not to develop one at the expense of the other.”
“So those conversations are important conversations. They are conversations that have will have to continue as I certainly will not relent until we have some acceptable sharing formula for those monies that are national asset; that belong to all of the people of St.Kitts and Nevis…,”
“It is our money, and so a lot of time I hear talk that St. Kitts is helping Nevis but how are you helping me if you are giving me some of what belongs to me? Think about it! How are you helping me if all I’m getting is some of what belongs to me?” he added.
Brantley applauded the current government’s efforts in the matter: “People may criticize the Team Unity Government for a variety of things; it is the only government thus far that has at least tried. You may argue if it has tried hard enough but at least it has tried to bring some semblance of balance to that, and so for the first time for example we get a monthly amount that flows from CBI. The question is whether that monthly amount properly reflects the percentage of the inflows but nevertheless we get that monthly amount that comes and this is the first time that that has happened in a sustained way, and so we have to be thankful for that because people of Nevis were completely locked out.”