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'BVIslander must be at the forefront of revenue initiatives' - Winston E. Nibbs

- Julian Willock says Recovery and Development plan lacks 'bold and new' initiatives
Winston E. Nibbs aka 'La Fontey', local businessman commented that BVIslanders must be at the forefront of any revenue venture that the Virgin Islands government decide to take. Photo: VINO/File
Mr Julian Willock, former Permanent Secretary and businessman suggested four bold and new revenue initiatives that can assist the government in repaying their loans. Photo:VINO/File
Mr Julian Willock, former Permanent Secretary and businessman suggested four bold and new revenue initiatives that can assist the government in repaying their loans. Photo:VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Arguing that the Recovery and Development Plan put forward by the government lacks "bold, new initiatives" to generate revenues to repay the loans, former Permanent Secretary, Mr Julian Willock proposed four revenue driven ideas that can assist with the repayment of these loans.

Mr Willock appeared on the 3D Show hosted by Doug Wheatley on ZBVI 780 AM on Friday, February 9, 2018. Mr Winston E. Nibbs aka 'La Fontey', local businessman was also a guest on the show.

Businessman, Mr Willock during the show, explained that within a year or two the Virgin Islands (VI) will have $1 billion plus in loans with no solid plan in place to repay the loan.

The four revenue initiatives suggested are national lottery system, citizen by investment program, manufacturing and hotel branding.

"It is time for our government to be serious about revenue initiatives and these times call for strong leadership. It calls for thinking outside the box. It calls for solutions," said Mr Willock.

"BVIslander must be at the forefront"- Winston E. Nibbs

In response, Mr Nibbs stated that he would want to see VIslanders at the forefront of any means of " revenue raising venture".

"I have a grave concern with the development of the country without then people of the country not being a part of that development. So my core argument comes about as to suggesting whatever means of revenue raising venture we decide to take on that we be in it," emphasised Mr Nibbs.

The indigenous Virgin Islander suggested that the hurricanes of September 2017 has given opportunities for persons to create revenue driven ideas as well.

"Taxes & fees alone cannot repay loans" - Mr Julian Willock

The local businessman emphasised that the government cannot expect to repay $1 billion plus in loans solely through taxes and fees.

He said, "Its amazing that our Premier would be up and down all over the world trying to get loans and grants going to cost us up what's worth of $1 billion and the only thing within the Recovery Plan is about taxes."

Mr Willock further explained that the VI will not be able to depend on traditional ways of raising revenues due to hurricanes Irma and Maria, adding that 30 percent of the population left, so the taxes that were normally collected is no more.

"Any government that is in office has to be talking about how to pay back those loans," he said.

15 Responses to “'BVIslander must be at the forefront of revenue initiatives' - Winston E. Nibbs”

  • dog (10/02/2018, 11:55) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    agree on the issue of repaying the loans. But I also worry that development will become open season without regulations, zoning, inspections and a master plan in place. It will become every man for himself with big ugly buildings on borrowed money and slowly, the character of the BVI will be erased. We can do both. But the person (s) at the helm must be strong and have vision (and many public meetings) to keep citizens involved and listen to ideas.
    I do not see a public relations person on a valuable board as useful. We need architect/ engineer/ environmentalist/ historian to contribute to reconstruction. People will do their own thing and disregard the bigger picture. And please, no billboards or big advertising. It will look like Times Sq NYC.
  • 1 (10/02/2018, 13:25) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    I like JW he speaking good!
  • NB (10/02/2018, 16:18) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    Yall need the expats money to repay yall loan. Start treating us right and we will continue to give our best.
    • GTFOH (10/02/2018, 18:14) Like (7) Dislike (7) Reply
      I dare you to leave. Dare you.
      • Josiahsbay (11/02/2018, 16:15) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        NB mayy have stated his opinion in a crude manner but its a valid point. As for GTFOH be careful for what you wish for. After ourselves they are our closet allies.
  • Gumption. Official (10/02/2018, 17:01) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    If part of the recovery money ain’t build program like (YEP) Youth Empowerment Program) we won’t have a a strong recovery. Every community/ district must have a youth development program (but) it should be monitored so it don’t turn into a (block) drinking/smoking/sex. It can be done. We just have to be willing to do it.
  • hahahaha (10/02/2018, 21:12) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    You right but you still wrong.. BVI landers are who oppressing BVIslanderz. BVILanders are who running to Haiti to hurt BVI Landers.. Look in the mirror. Start there...
  • vex (11/02/2018, 00:25) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let's start with a new election
  • Tortola (11/02/2018, 01:26) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Seize the time Mr.Willock.
  • Ignorant xenophobe (11/02/2018, 02:55) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Bvi needs competence and integrity and transparency. Nothing more. We will keep failing until we get the skills and the character from the top down. We need to give out three year permits and get the three years of money up front. Stop making people have to turn up in person and go through the mindless and pointless rigmarole every year. Most are gone by then anyway and very few carry on. Many finding out how much more pleasantly they can be treated elsewhere and because of better economies they can also earn more.
  • pat (11/02/2018, 08:22) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Very good show very good show
  • wake up (11/02/2018, 11:24) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    This kind of thinking, this "Locals should be at the forefront of the islands development," is one of the reasons why the BVI is so far behind other Caribbean islands. This desire for all property and businesses to be owned and operated by locals is holding back the economy and having a detrimental effect on the community. Let's take the investment club and their track record of failed ventures as a case in point. Prospect Reef, Scrub, everything they touch turns to dust. Just imagine if foreign investment had been welcomed from the very beginning, Tortola would be towering over the likes of St Martin, Bahamas, T&C, and the rest. Sadly, the island resembles a country more akin to DRP than to, Singapore [sic].
  • wize up (11/02/2018, 12:23) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    we need to begin educating our people from the primary school level to undertake the essential task; I will continue saying the department of labor have to be on the same page as our educational system: I happen to own a few businesses and have great difficulty finding my own people to fill given openings; logically as a business owner you want the most suitable person to run your company: the world have changed yet some of us stuck in 1950s state of mind: I recalled the days simply who your parents were you got the job: the words these days is “duly qualified” so we have to educate our people: let me also say this I know many of our people holding substantial posts in the USA and even in the USVI because they went abroad to further their education and never can back; I personally have children born at Peebles Hospital and gone for many years and doing well: education is the key to success.....stop the talk and educate our in the area where continue issuing permits


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