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Premier Smith clueless how $3.6B damage estimate arrived at

- Premier could not give a clear response as to how he arrived at the estimated value of damages caused by Hurricane Irma
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), right, was unable to clearly state in the House of Assembly on November 13, 2017 how his government arrived at the initial figure of estimated damages for the territory while admitting that assessments have not been completed. Photo: VINO
The Government owned Central Administration Complex that was devastated by Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo: VINO/File
The Government owned Central Administration Complex that was devastated by Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo: VINO/File
WICKHAM'S CAY II, Tortola, VI - The Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) had much trouble stating how his government arrived at the initial figure of estimated damages for the territory while admitting that assessments have not been completed.

During the House of Assembly (HoA) on November 13, 2017 at the Arbitration Centre, Ritter House, on Wickham's Cay II, Opposition Leader and First District Representative Honourable Andrew A. Fahie asked the Finance Minister to explain how his government arrived at the $3.6 billion estimated damages for the territory and to list the estimated value for the government owned buildings.

The Premier stated that the assessment of the damages incurred has not been completed as yet and the estimated value of damages suffered by government ministries was estimated at $104 million.

"This value is categorized by ministries. The Central Administration Complex estimated $22 million., the Ministry of Finance estimated $875,000, Government offices estimated $4 million, Ministry of Health and Social Development estimated $27,500, Ministry of Natural Resource and Labour estimated $625,000, Ministry of Education and Culture estimated $72 million, Ministry of Communication and Works estimated $3 million," said the Premier.

He added that the assessment on government vehicles and properties have recently commenced.

"How did you get to the number of $3 billion?" - Hon Fahie

Meanwhile, Hon Fahie pointed out that if assessments are not completed as yet, how did the government reach to the figure of $3.6 billion and questioned if discussions were made with the members of HoA.

The Opposition Leader said, "Given that the assessments are not completed and given that in the news we are told about the amount of monies to recover the territory are showing some $3 billion before approaching the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Were these discussions of these figures in details had with the members of the House of Assembly (HoA)?”

In response, the Premier emphasised that they did not approach IMF but they approached the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) with an estimated value based on reports from the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC).

Not satisfied with the answer, the Opposition Leader questioned again, “How did you get to the number of $3 billion, so you could have had a discussion with Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). What made up that list? Was it discussed before?”

He continued, “If it is an approximate figure that you carry to CDB, why is it $3 billion? Why wasn’t it 5 billion? What was used to get that figure?”

The Finance Minister, not clearly giving a response, told Hon Fahie that he will provide a copy of the report from the NEOC.

9 Responses to “Premier Smith clueless how $3.6B damage estimate arrived at”

  • wet (14/11/2017, 09:48) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Its clear to see that Ronnie needs to be the minister of finance
  • xox (14/11/2017, 10:14) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dr smith is lying Ted
  • Hmmm (14/11/2017, 10:46) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    But isn't the ministries inside the Admin complex, so how could they have separate damages. 22 million is what it cost to build the complex years ago. It cant be so much to repair the schools. Ministry of finance $875000 for paper and computers and office furniture cost so much. Where Government is renting the people who own the buildings aren't responsible for fixing them? Why is the British Government allowing them to put out these propaganda.
    • @hmmm (14/11/2017, 10:59) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      I am here wondering the same thing.....
    • benefit of the doubt (14/11/2017, 14:11) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      I will give them that for now. And maybe they plan to rebuild the school with better reinforce materials that will with stand a cat 5 hurricane and earth quakes. Since they have to rebuild they might as well relocate 6th thru 8 or 9th to separate location rather than having those young children on the same site with more senior students. Look for a site in the country side and get away from centralizing everything in town. This an opportunity for strategic planning to help reduce traffic and also bring economical revival to different parts of these islands and not just Road Town. Think and plan smart BVI.
  • BZ (14/11/2017, 13:06) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why is the party members allowing Smith to answer questions about finances?
    • confirmation (14/11/2017, 13:58) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      I told you all in my comments about a month back, he got the number from Maps estimate. Let me see STT maybe a little large in sq.miles thank he divided the total squares miles in the us into Gov. Mapp's estimate, them took the results and multiplied it by the BVI's total square miles. That is the best I can come up with to ty and help you Dr. Smith...because your otherwise response shows total lack of knowledge in the area of finance. It also shows that your critical thinking's skills are being deminished. It is not your fault it is just part of the aging process.
  • Vision. (14/11/2017, 16:17) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Anyone see the Government sitting in the Ritter House? A forward-thinking Government would have had a proper House of Assembly to conduct the people's business. It may have gotten damaged, but at least we could say, we have a proper building. Where is the vision? Don't tell me they will repair that old HOA Building. They should make it a museum and build a proper building for the Legislative Seat of Government. This shows one where priorities are. Go into some of the other Caribbean country and see where their Legislature is housed. Come on, Leaders, it is time you lead with vision in mind. Where there is no vision, poor Virgin Islands people shall perish.
  • Curious (16/11/2017, 16:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    As Usual all I go do is LMFAO at that so call Premier that yall vote in.

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