Though the key concern raised by many, leads back to the lack of transparency and the apparent unwillingness of government to disclose the quantity of applications that have been approved, as part of the Citizenship by Investment Program administered by the SIDF, others have argued that if the funds are to be used to advance the development of the country, as it was designed to do anyhow, then the people and the businesses on the sister island of Nevis, should be allowed to share in the bounty.
Now, Leader of the Opposition, in the Federal Parliament and Deputy Leader of the Concerned Citizens Movement, CCM, in Nevis, Mr. Mark Brantley, has added his voice, arguing against what he thinks is a lop-sided approach being adopted by the SIDF, for the programs that are being supported. Nevis, he claims is not getting its fair share.
Brantley, earlier this week, stated that the passports are the joint property of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. He states that neither Kittitians nor Nevisians have a greater right to benefit from what is an asset belonging to the federal government.
Therefore he suggests that the sale of this asset to generate money for the SIDF makes it a right for citizens and companies from each island, not just St. Kitts, to benefit. More SIDF investment therefore, he argues, should be made in Nevis.
He also said that after looking at a breakdown of monies spent by the SIDF thus far, only one disbursement has been made in Nevis, and that has been a loan, unlike in St. Kitts where grants have been provided.
“The reason I highlight that is because here we have a programme which has as its basis, an asset of our passport, which is the joint asset of the people of our country, Kittitians and Nevisians alike… the people of St. Kitts has no greater right to it, the people of Nevis have no greater right to it, we have an equal right to this asset.”
Brantley then questioned how anybody could justify that lop-sided allocation, and called for more investment to be made into the tourism sector in Nevis which he said is in dire need of investment. He is therefore of the view that a more equitable systems is needed to treat both islands as they ought to be accommodated with support.
He also made it clear that while he does not have a fundamental problem with the principle of a program that sells citizenship to investors, he is troubled by the fact that much effort is being made to keep certain financial aspects of the program, hidden from the public. More transparency is needed said Brantley.