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Locals should have been approached for cruise pier project - commentators

Given all the missteps that have taken place with the cruise pier development project and government’s approaches to outsiders for funding, commentators have questioned why locals are not being engaged as part of their efforts to secure funds to get the project off the ground. Photo: VINO
Natalio Wheatley said locals wanted an alternative to invest their money as they were barely getting anything out of the banks. Photo: Facebook/File
Natalio Wheatley said locals wanted an alternative to invest their money as they were barely getting anything out of the banks. Photo: Facebook/File
Commentator Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka said on the Umoja show last evening, October 24, 2013 that suggestions were made from the very beginning for a facility to be set up to have the cruise pier project funded by locals ‘so that we don’t have to depend on these people and then be between a rock and a hard place’. Photo: VINO
Commentator Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka said on the Umoja show last evening, October 24, 2013 that suggestions were made from the very beginning for a facility to be set up to have the cruise pier project funded by locals ‘so that we don’t have to depend on these people and then be between a rock and a hard place’. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Given all the missteps that have taken place with the cruise pier development project and government’s approaches to outsiders for funding, commentators have questioned why locals are not being engaged as part of their efforts to secure funds to get the project off the ground.

Commentator Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka said on the Umoja show last evening, October 24, 2013 that suggestions were made from the very beginning for a facility to be set up to have the cruise pier project funded by locals ‘so that we don’t have to depend on these people and then be between a rock and a hard place’.

Co-host Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru said if this had been done, the Virgin Islands (VI) would have been in a much better place.

“It seems as though, to me, that one of the factors would be time, because we’re being pressured by the cruise industry to get this pier and this development,” Smith said.

Wheatley said locals wanted an alternative to invest their money as they were barely getting anything out of the banks. “The banks are making a killing here,” he noted, “they’re barely giving you anything on the money, so we need to invest that money.”

According to Wheatley, while this may not have been possible on an individual basis, locals could have been approached collectively to source funds for the project.

He also suggested alternatively, that there may be a fear among locals of losing their investment that might be a cultural phenomenon.

Smith said investors were not coming to the VI for altruistic reasons and added that they were not coming because they love the BVI and wanted to invest.

Wheatley offered that sometimes the territory’s leaders were somewhat gullible and Smith said he agreed that this was the case ‘a lot of times’. “People come and we’ve had experience with that, this is not the first experience,” Smith stated.

Consultants and snags

Smith also suggested that government may not be entirely to blame for the delays in the process as consultants, who are hired for their expertise, were also involved in the negotiation process.

“What always concerns me, and the same thing happened with the BiWater situation, is we have these experts and a lot of people think that the government goes off… the Minister, the Ports Director and the Permanent Secretary… just go off and start trying to negotiate these deals themselves,” Smith said.

He said there was a general feeling in the community that no expertise was involved and failure was solely on the part of the government and he was concerned that experts were still involved with all the snags that were apparent.

13 Responses to “Locals should have been approached for cruise pier project - commentators”

  • Oh yeah (25/10/2013, 08:04) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Yea they hated biwater but love the BVI Ports partners NDP is a set of hypocrites that why it’s time for them to go!!!!
  • GoonSquad (25/10/2013, 08:19) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Remember one minister told a man from VG that locals ant got no money to invest BAM
  • qc (25/10/2013, 08:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    this project has been a PR nightmare for the NDP
  • Short Memory (25/10/2013, 09:45) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wasn't the Public adamant that Mark Vanterpool SHOULD NOT sell out Wickham's Cay for the 40-plus years to the Pier Park investors? So why is the same public upset that the deal fell apart? Are we stupid, crazy or do we have some type of collective attention deficit disorder? We should celebrate the deal falling apart as a first step. The second step should be exactly what this article suggests: Do it ourselves.

    That deal was the Telecom Liberalization Sham, The Beef Island Sell Off and the Bi-Water Sell Out all over again. We never learn. We always expect outside companies to come in here and represent our interests instead of their own corporate bank accounts. And then we're surprised later on when we discover that we've offered too much of future. How pathetic...
    • Real!! (25/10/2013, 12:19) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      But you don't see the idiots fighting against one foreign interest and now championing another, in the form of Carnival? They're more than stupid! I don't think we should fool ourselves into thinking we can do everything by ourselves. Dealing with these big cruise agencies takes proper lobbying by people who understand the industry. We just need to ensure that whatever deal is finalized gives us maximum benefit. In business you have to give to get. Whoever brokers the deal will want to get paid, whoever signs the deal will want to get paid and most of all, WE want to get paid. Get the proper balance, get qualified people involved and we'll have something good. I have to laugh at the misguided souls fighting tooth and nail for Carnival without doing their research to see the type of underhanded nonsense that they've been doing for ages. Why fight for Carnival when they don't want to guarantee anything and can leave without notice? The other entities are giving signed guarantees and agreements up to 15yrs. Carnival doesn't want to give any, but we should fight for them? WHY?
  • Turtle Dove (25/10/2013, 10:46) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    We do not want to hear from that sell out who took an NDP consultant contract…
  • PAC (25/10/2013, 15:53) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    when the investigation is over you all will see how much local firms was involved..from law firms to others ting te talk
  • bad boy (26/10/2013, 06:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    these 2 donkeys again this was out they for so long now you talking about localo whey ayou na shut you mouth pack ajoke
  • FALL GUY (26/10/2013, 12:44) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    this ports project will be the down fall of the NDP
  • TPP (26/10/2013, 22:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Can someone tell me who are the locals behind the TPP?
  • AL (28/10/2013, 14:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We must understand how corruption impacts us


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