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Henry opposes Chinese doing airport project

- Talk show host Julio S. Henry said only 'smart business' should be conducted with Chinese
Talk show host Julio S. Henry is not in favour of the Chinese being given the contract for the extension of the runway at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport. Photo: VINO/Internet Source
The choice of a contractor for the Airport Runway Extension Project has divided the Dr D. Orlando Smith Caucus, with many long-time NDP supporters, contractors and Heavy Equipment Operators from the Seventh and Eighth Districts making representation to keep the money local. Photo: VINO/File
The choice of a contractor for the Airport Runway Extension Project has divided the Dr D. Orlando Smith Caucus, with many long-time NDP supporters, contractors and Heavy Equipment Operators from the Seventh and Eighth Districts making representation to keep the money local. Photo: VINO/File
Natalio D. Wheatley said the VI should focus instead on working out a plan with the Chinese to get cheaper manufactured goods to the Virgin Islands. Photo: File
Natalio D. Wheatley said the VI should focus instead on working out a plan with the Chinese to get cheaper manufactured goods to the Virgin Islands. Photo: File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Two radio talk show personalities, Julio S. Henry and Natalio D. Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru, hold the view that Chinese people should only be dealt with on wise business dealings such as manufacturing, and nothing more.

During their hour-long show ‘Things to Talk’ on ZBVI 780 AM on September 7, 2016 the two said their comments were based on news that a Chinese firm may be selected for the contract to undertake the runway extension project at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport.

Quite apart from it being public knowledge that the Chinese are offering attractive interest rates and repayment plans, wherever they undertake major projects, from their labourers to cooks, to cleaners, maybe even doctors, are brought in along with all their necessities. Then they set up a work camp instead of renting houses, so, in essence, the funds will not be circulating in the local economy, Henry remarked, unlike if the locals were engaged.

“I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do business with China. I am saying that we should do smart business with China…where we control our destiny,” Henry pointed out. “Don’t bring them in your house, you will think they want to leave, but look around you, look around the Caribbean, they bawling, Latin America, Africa, and America, they bawling…you can’t get rid of them.”

He said Virgin Islanders should not wait until it affects them because it will and the populace should challenge the government’s approach even though they are supporters of the ruling party.

“… Nothing is wrong they can only do it better in the best interest of everybody,” he said.

No importing of labour if locals can do the work

Meantime, Wheatley said he is in total agreement with Henry, arguing that no one should be imported to conduct work that can be done locally.

“I agree with you because one of the principles I have is if we have locals who can do something, we don’t need to invite other people to do what we can do for ourselves. What we want our partnership with China is to do what we cannot do for ourselves,” he noted.

Wheatley mentioned that the VI should focus instead on working out a plan with the Chinese to get cheaper manufactured goods and cut off the route that goes to the USA before reaching a destination.

“If we can get it direct, at a cheaper cost, that is a benefit for us. That we cannot do for ourselves right now so we would want to partner with China on that but don’t partner with China with what you can do for yourself,” Mr Wheatley said.

Chinese firm makes lower bid

It was this news site that first and accurately broke the news that two companies made the final list on the runway extension project. They were China Communications Construction Company Ltd, who the Administration favours and IDL Group, who merged with Sir Robert McAlpine Holdings and local partner ADC of the Virgin Islands.

According to information received from our sources, China Communications Construction Company Ltd’s bid was approximately $154 Million and IDL Group, the Sir Robert McAlpine Holdings and local partner ADC bid, was reportedly $199 Million.

However, the Chinese company’s deal came with many giveaways, concessions, lots of fee waivers and overseas labour and equipment and claims of the money leaving the territory, giving them the ability to bid so low.

Since then it was unearthed by the local press that the China Communications Construction Company is on a World Bank black list for alleged corruption of one of its subsidiaries.

Furthermore, the local press has reported that the NDP had hidden information about the airport project before the 2015 snap election.

The choice of a contractor for the Airport Runway Extension Project has divided the Dr D. Orlando Smith Caucus, with many long-time NDP supporters, contractors and Heavy Equipment Operators from the Seventh and Eighth Districts making representation to keep the money local.

18 Responses to “Henry opposes Chinese doing airport project”

  • zoe (08/09/2016, 09:32) Like (4) Dislike (14) Reply
    Leave the chinese they better than the whites
    • B Savage (09/09/2016, 14:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      YOU can say that again...they actually have culture ...but theses EDOMITES? Not even a race they are a VIRUS check your history this isn't my opinion.
  • Hmmm (08/09/2016, 09:42) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes locals can do the work, it just has to cost 5x as much to complete the same project...
  • long look me come from (08/09/2016, 09:43) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Locals do not count not enough of them to cause NDP to loose
  • wize up (08/09/2016, 10:21) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    some of us that making so much noise can't do anything to better this territory: the territory needs a better airport and I dont care who builds it.....why don't Sam and Wheatley build the airport(talk that)
  • warning! (08/09/2016, 10:30) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    CARIMEX & PEEBLES Part 2 in the making.

    They said Carimex bid was lower but look at the shoddy work and who had to save the day? A local who could've done the job in the first place. Give our local guys a chance to team up and get the job done with proper management and supervision/oversight in place to ensure it's done properly
    • wize up (08/09/2016, 15:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ warning!...our local politicians teamed up with the Chinese to build the airport(so the local guys are being given a chance)
  • Traveler (08/09/2016, 12:31) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Google and see if any of the bidders built any airport before and then lets have a debate..
  • vex (08/09/2016, 13:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Its just an airport expasion
  • Street reporter (08/09/2016, 13:31) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    These guys need to shut up... They are the ones that like good bread and nice pastries but they are objecting to having a qualified Baker.. If we need benefits and good results. The Chinese the way too go. We all will benefit...
    .
  • Garbage (08/09/2016, 14:45) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    The Chinese can not build anything, they make rubbish copies of British and American products. The air strip will crumble and cause a disaster in a short time and then the Brits or Americans will have to fix it for us.Chinese don't believe in human rights and local workers will be treated like slaves, just like how they treat their own.





  • hawk (08/09/2016, 14:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    "...look around the Caribbean, they bawling, Latin America, Africa, and America, they bawling…you can’t get rid of them". I think Sam should stop quoting nonsense. And Sowande should know better than to agree with anything Sam says.

    I don't know about Latin America and America. And I don't care to know. But as a black historian Sowande should know that China is the first genuine partner that the Caribbean and Africa ever had. And he should also know that locals CANNOT do this work to the required quality and within a reasonable budget.

    Does Sowande know that right now, China is building islands in the South China Sea in an effort to stop the US military from trying to dominate that area? And I am certain he knows that it is the whites that crippled Africa through colonialism, and now the world bank and IMF.

    • BoiBoy (08/09/2016, 21:25) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Please....I'm laughing sooo loud.
      China a partner? Give me a break. How many free people live in China or Hong Kong? How many can write blogs like these without being locked up? Stop the stupidity and use western contractors that can be trusted. Don't sell your pathetic souls to the Asian dragon, only to be left high and dry.
      • B Savage (09/09/2016, 14:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        To HAWK you know your history well The Chinese government today choose communism/socialism because with democracy the evil AMERICANS will muck up your nation. Freedom in the wrong hands is a wicked tool. BOIBOY is either a COON/BOJANGLES BLACK FACE performer or worst....an EDOMITE.
  • apple (08/09/2016, 17:20) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    I do admire the courage of all BVIslanders, however there are times when we should let it be. From Jamaica to Trinidad and Tobago the entire chain of islands who am certain has professional contractors, seek the assistance of foreign contractors for the building of their airport. What really makes the BVI different? In my opinion the local contractors do not have the experience, the Financial backing, assurance of timely delivery and the expertise for the building of the airport.
    Just take a look at the newly built roads going through the East of the island and it speaks for its self. Contractual standards is a joke with the local contractors; why do you want to do that which you cannot do base on standards. Hate if you want but my God it reminds me od the Berlin Wall in Sea-Cows-Bay.
  • Been there (09/09/2016, 10:56) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have personally worked with the Chinese on 2 international projects and BOTH were a disaster. One one job in Canada they were contracted 2 build 4 Very large storage tanks for oil.
    2 of the tanks collapsed during construction killing a number of persons and the other job was to build a bridge in the UK. On that one none of the concrete could meet the compression requirements on the 7 and 28 day breaks. I would personally never use a runway they build.! The BVI has the manpower to do this , lets keep the jobs here!
  • LOL (10/09/2016, 03:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    you no buy you no buy..get out shop.


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