The latest issue that seems to be generating much attention is the planned oil storage facility, to be located at Pembroke Estate, in the southern part of the island.
Current leader of the ruling Nevis Reformation Party, Mr. Joseph Parry, is of the view that thefacility will create a significant amount of jobs for Nevisians. However, Parry is accusing the opposition party, the Concerned Citizens Movement, CCM, of not supporting the initiative, simply to score political points. Without this support therefore, the NRP leader has concluded that the CCM is not truly interested in the employment benefits that are possible for residents, especially given the economic difficulties facing the island.
The Premier went on radio on Thursday to denounce what he considered was a weak attempt by the CCM on Thursday morning, to stage a demonstration at Bath House, the site of the Office of the Premier, in protest of the oil facility. Parry scoffed at the opposition however, saying they were only able to attract a small gathering of approximately 10 people, most of whom he accused of only interested in the personal gains for themselves, if CCM were to be returned to government. The interest of the ordinary people on Nevis charged the Premier was not their priority.
Parry has disclosed that the Canadian developers who are responsible for the project have indicated their intention is to bring a $400 million investment to Nevis, which would create over 150 jobs during the construction phase, 100 permanent jobs on completion of the project, a polytechnic for training and revenue to the treasury of the Nevis Island Administration.
Representatives of the developers recently spoke to residents in Nevis at a town hall meeting, organized to introduce the initiative and provide an overview of what is to be expected once all systems are ready to proceed.
At the consultation, held on Tuesday 25th September, 2012, at the Albertha Payne Community Center in Bath Village, residents were updated by Thomas Williams (a national of St. Kitts), Mr. Andre Reid and Mr. Bill Powdar.
Mr. Williams sought to assure his listeners that the Canadian Global Investment Ltd (CGI) intended to be a good social partner, indicating that the company would be willing to give back to the island with other amenities for the residents of Nevis.
However there were some concerns raised by some residents at the meeting including one that spoke to the need for the developers to have adequate insurance coverage that would compensate for any accidents or other fallout that are associated with such facilities, especially on islands as small as Nevis.
However, all Mr. Thomas Williams was willing to say, in response, was that the insurance matter for Nevis is a very good suggestion and would be followed up.
Williams’ colleague Mr. Powdar, however tried to be more assuring when he indicated that on the matter of safety, “All safety measures, all checks and balances would be put in place before any facility would be put on Nevis.”
The consultation which began around 7:00pm lasted for approximately 2 hours.