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Romeo - PDM

Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo 2019 New Year Statement


First, let me wish a happy, God-blessed new year to the people of Montserrat young and old, near and far; to all citizens, residents, visitors and friends. May we all go forward with God together in this New Year which God has graciously allowed us to see.

As we move forward into 2019, there is great hope and good reason to be optimistic. Over the past two years we have been blessed with several breakthroughs that open up opportunities to build a sound future. Yes, the sea port, the undersea fibre optic cable, geothermal and solar energy development, the pending hospital, the EU funding, the new growth strategy, a five-year capital programme, several investment opportunities and more are now open before us, as I discussed in my recent interview with our acting Communications Director.

In the past four years the Government of Montserrat (GoM) has been able to weave the landscape that now projects the opportunity for growth, development and a thriving economy.  We stood on our own two feet before this crisis, and after 23 years of resilience training, we are ready to do it again. 

First I must give some good news on private sector investment initiatives. For example, in Dick Hill the Art Housing project has put in place the foundations and the road infrastructure to the 10 unit villa project.  The next stage will resume where we shall see the buildings going up. This was confirmed on my recent visit to the UK.  Meanwhile, we continue to advance potential projects in water bottling and the digital sector of our economy. These projects will provide services to the outside world and bring significant employment and revenue to the Government and People of Montserrat.

Let us now take note of the progress with various ongoing projects. Some of the following projects are more visible than others, but we are making good progress that will help us to build a solid future:

Carr’s Bay Bridge: With funding in place, we can all see that frameworks have been set up, concrete has been poured for the main bridge structures and work is ongoing. The bridge deck, base and vertical walls are already in place. The wing walls, the catchment, the outfall and the head walls will follow. Works on the Carr’s Bay Bridge are scheduled to be completed by January 31st.

Barzeys Road and bridge:  We have completed 820ft  of concrete roadway with an average width of 20ft.  The work also required kerbs, drains, retaining walls, building a bridge and re-aligning the roadway. The resilience, safety and access on this section of road have been greatly improved as a result of the works completed. 

Sea Port, Phase 1: A year ago, Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved 14.4M pounds (about EC $50 million) for the development of Port Little Bay under the UKCIF fund.  GoM will provide an additional 7M pounds (EC 24 Million) to assist with the project expenditure. CDB & GoM have developed Terms of Reference (ToRs) for the procurement of the Project Manager, Marine Consultants, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Consultant (ESIA). Land has to be acquired; asking prices suggest that we will need to take the compulsory acquisition process route.

The Public Procurement Board has issued an award letter in Dec 2018 to STANTEC Consultants out of Barbados, who will be on ­­­­­­­­island in early January 2019. A Project Coordinator for the Port project is expected to be in place by February 2019. The ESIA for the Port Project will be done by the Technical Consultants, to meet a deadline of Mar 2019. The Technical Consultants will also advance the tender process for the Design Build Contractor. This should start in June or July.  Under the European Development Fund (EDF), the Port project must be completed by 2020/21.

Airport: Construction drawings for the new Air Traffic Control Tower are nearly complete and tender documents are being developed.  The Prefabricated Cab for the Tower was expected on island by end of December 2018.  Of the EC$2.315m of GoM/Department for International Development (DFID) and EU funding for this project, EC$961,531.00 has been spent on the Cab.  EC$324,732.04 has been spent on equipment for the new Air Traffic Control Tower.  The remainder will be spent on a final payment for the pre-fabricated cab, as well as on the construction of the Shaft.  

Fibre Optics Cable: This is a priority project for GoM and DfID.  It will greatly enhance resiliency of our communications in the face of hurricanes and open the way for a powerful digital sector in our economy. Funding of about £5 millions is assured. The request for proposals is being finalized and should go to the Market this month.  It will then take another month to have a contract in place. We intend to have the fibre optic cable in place for the peak of the Hurricane season, August.

Hospital and healthcare: The hospital project is a part of the five-year capital programme being further developed with the UK, which helps to secure funding.  A steering committee is being set up for the project. Wider ongoing developments include better pediatric care, improved psychiatric care, sharing of anaesthesiology resources with neighbouring islands and creation of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs).  Options are being explored for better air ambulance services to Guadeloupe.  Healthcare in Montserrat continues to benefit from technical support through the UK departments, such as Public Health England and the Department of Health, as well as DFID and FCO in meeting its international health obligations while we address local challenges.

ZJB New Building: This is now nearing completion and the Station will soon be moving house.  Equipment for the new building was successfully tendered and a new generator should arrive shortly.  While waiting on the new equipment to arrive I have given the directive for them to occupy and broadcast from the New ZJB building with our present equipment. 

250 kW Solar PV project: This project is expected to be completed by the middle of March and will increase the resilience of our Electricity supply through solar energy.  Upon completion the roof top solar installation is expected to produce 250 kw of solar energy. This project’s capacity is approximately 10% of our peak power load, and it is intended to develop a second phase, of 750 kW, as was announced last November when CARICOM Energy Month was launched here. Installation is scheduled to begin on the 14th January 2019. The total expenditure to-date has been $870,490.

Geothermal Well 3: Regarding the drilling of the third well, DFID will provide an update on the negotiation between DFID and Iceland Drilling Company (IDC). This should inform the strategic approach on the final drilling completion and development of the third well.

Geothermal power plant: GOM has completed an early market engagement on the development of a geothermal surface plant to generate electricity. DFID and GOM after assessing the early market engagement report agreed to move to the geothermal generation stage.  The technical assistance required for the geothermal surface plant development and implementation will be financed by DFID.

Housing: We were able to provide permanent housing to five households who were able to enjoy their first Christmas living in their new homes.  Montserratians have a strong desire to own a piece of the rock and as a result we will be providing new lots in the Lookout Area.  We intend to extend the Drummonds housing development, through the construction of another complex with six two-bedroom apartments.  We are presently negotiating with DfID, our funding partner, to build a number of new homes over the next five years. 

Port Buildings Project: Work was to be done on the Montserrat Port Authourity (MPA) warehouse roof and on the Ferry terminal. Of the EC$1.1M, spend to date is $670,000. The other $430,000 is to be spent on the Office Accommodation and the final aspects of the Ferry Terminal Canopy.  The project is 85% complete and works are expected to be completed by March 2019. The MPA roof repairs and Ferry Terminal Canopy Cover are completed, including construction of a staircase, a verandah at the arrival section, paving works and reconfiguration of the fencing.  The anticipated Canopy which will form the roof for the newly paved areas will be installed shortly.  

Liquid Waste Management Project: This project has four components: [1] the Margetson Sewage Treatment Plant, [2] The Lookout warden assisted accommodation walkway, [3] the Lookout warden assisted accommodation sewage balancing tank and [4] the New Windward sewage stabilization ponds. The first three components are already completed.  Work on the New Windward ponds is still in progress. The installation of the pond liners was delayed due to late arrival.  Completion of this project is now scheduled for later this month.

Tourism: The new tourism director will now be in place shortly.  It is anticipated that he will advance the discussion of the formal twinning of Montserrat and Antigua as one tourist destination. The future looks bright for the anticipated EU funded tourism development which would increase the tourism dollars for the private sector.

Another key sign of progress comes from the testimony to the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) by Lord Ahmad, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Minister for Overseas Territories, on December 18th 2018. This is the same FAC that I testified before and also submitted written evidence. 

In his testimony Lord Ahmad confirmed that along with the Secretary of State, (Penny Mordaunt) and his colleague Lord Bates, the view they are now taking involves much more long-term support of Capital projects in Montserrat as in each British Overseas Territory.  He confirmed that we  are working  through  the  details  of  a  £30  million-plus  programme  supporting infrastructure. However, having surveyed our needs, GoM asked for significantly more than £50 million. 

GoM acknowledges and thank Lord Ahmad and Lord Bates for the critical role they have played so far in the negotiations over the 5-year Capital programme.  For it is time we agree a real programme of action to recreate a civilized home for the People of Montserrat.

Given the legal obligations to support OT’s, Montserrat has a priority claim on DfID’s £12 billion plus development aid budget. According to the 2002 UK International Development Act, we must not be put in competition with very poor third world countries.  The key projects we are proposing are transformative and — with timely and adequate support — will help to get Montserrat out of dependency on annual grants from the UK.

It is definitely good news that, apart from having discussions with us year after year over budget support, GoM, FCO and DfID are now also discussing the first long-term capital programme with many projects.  This will not only help to set Montserrat on a course out of dependency on the British tax payers but will fulfill the UK’s obligations under the United Nations Charter, Article 73, by ensuring our advancement, economically, socially, educationally and even politically while also promoting constructive measures of development.

That is why I shall continue to call on HMG to honour the UK’s policies which are very supportive and allows them to do what is right by the people of Montserrat while doing what is in the interest of the British tax payers. 

So, 2019 is indeed the time for UK policies and actions to match. 

2019 is also the time for us as a people to be assertive about our rights as British Nationals under the UN Charter.  Those who refuse to accept this and who sometimes even laugh at it are unintentionally working against Montserrat’s interests. That must now stop and we must come together to move forward with a united force.

Finally, the key strategic move for 2019 and beyond is to turn our breakthroughs into a breakout that moves us beyond dependency and lingering impacts of the volcano disaster to resilient, self-sustaining, inclusive growth and development.  With key infrastructure and projects coming in place, 2019 is the year for us to all work together to continue to attract the right kinds of support. This includes local and foreign investments and business that will build a modern, thriving, diverse, resilient, and lasting economy. One, in which all of our people, whether citizens, residents, visitors or friends, young and old — through enterprise and initiative — can fulfil their hopes in a truly democratic and God-fearing society

Let us therefore continue to commit 2019 into God’s hands and seek his wisdom as we work together to build our future.

God bless the People and Government of Montserrat in this year of our Lord, 2019.

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economic recovery

Economic Growth Strategy and Delivery Plan

From the Government Information Unit (GIU)

The final version of the Economic Growth Strategy and Delivery Plan for Montserrat is now available online.

The Government of Montserrat has developed the Economic Growth Strategy (EGS) 2018-2022, which will act as the guide for public investment over the next several years; with the goal of the eventual re-balancing of the economy from public sector driven to private sector led. It seeks to accomplish this by analysing the potential of key sectors that have been identified as the most economically viable with the ultimate goal of long-term sustainability. The EGS ensures that actions are tied to these goals by clearly outlining a delivery plan which details the responsible agencies and time-frames for accomplishing tasks geared towards achieving economic milestones. The strategic focus of the EGS is expected to go beyond 2022 as it will dovetail into the development of the new Sustainable Development Plan (2021).

The EGS & Delivery Plan is available The document is available in the publications section of the Government of Montserrat website.  To access the document, individuals should go to www.gov.ms click on the  ‘publications’  tab, then click on ‘Ministry of Finance’ in the list provided.  Once on this page, click on the pdf “Economic Growth Strategy & Delivery Plan – Final’ to open or download the document.  Alternatively, the document can be accessed at the following link http://www.gov.ms/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Economic-Growth-Strategy-Delivery-Plan.pdf

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Vacancy Notice – Education and Outreach Coordinator (Temporary)

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No access to areas south of Belham Valley

Important Notice especially for visitors, tourists and sightseers

This will be a setback for tourists on the Windstar Vessel due to arrive on Tuesday, Crafters, and especially taxi drivers who according to DiscoverMNI were urged to be ready!

 Further to potential flood warnings – comes this news later in the day

The Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) in consultation with the Commissioner of the Royal Montserrat Police Service (RMPS) has taken a decision to cease access to areas south of Belham Valley.

 The decision was taken due to the road being compromised and also to allow the authorities to carry out remedial work on the road in an effort to ensure the safety of all users.

 The road at Belham Valley will, therefore, be closed from 5 o’clock this afternoon and a further update will be given in due course.

 Persons, south of Belham are asked to make their way to the north immediately.

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FIM

Financial Information Month- Calendar of Activities

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ECCB Celebrates 35th Anniversary

ECCB Celebrates 35th Anniversary

TIMOTHY N. J. ANTOINE GOVERNOR, EASTERN CARIBBEAN CENTRAL BANK

Press Release:–  Address by Timothy Antoine, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 — The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is celebrating 35 years of existence, 35 years of service and, most importantly, 35 years of monetary stability.

We offer a high note of praise to Almighty God for His greatness and goodness.  Indeed, “it is in Him, we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28, NIV).

We also thank the people of our beloved region for their unwavering support.

Today, we reaffirm that our EC dollar is strong, 98 per cent backed by foreign reserves. This means for every dollar in circulation, we have 98 cents in foreign reserves.  Our monetary union commands global respect; engenders confidence; helps deliver relatively low inflation; and encourages foreign direct investment as there are no foreign exchange controls.

The ECCB is both a powerful symbol and expression of what we as small countries can do when we come together. The ECCB is a timeless testimony of our capacity to craft arrangements for ourselves that work in our best interests.

We seize this opportunity to pay tremendous tribute to the founders and framers of our monetary union.  We acknowledge the role of members of our Monetary Council and Board of Directors (past and present). I hail the colossal contribution of my predecessors: the late Sir Cecil Jacobs and Honourable Sir K Dwight Venner.  I also recognise our first Deputy Governor, Sir Errol Allen and our current Deputy Governor, Mr Trevor Brathwaite.

We applaud our management and staff (past and present) including our retirees. We record our gratitude to all partners (local, regional and international).

Every October, we celebrate Financial Information Month (FIM). Our focus this year is on Conducting and Protecting Your Business in a Digital Environment.  I therefore encourage you to check out our events which include financial fairs, radio quizzes and business symposia on cryptocurrency and other digital developments.

As we commence our next 35 years of service, we will continue to work assiduously for the good of the people of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).  Our strategic plan makes pellucidly clear our intent to pursue socio-economic transformation of the Eastern Caribbean. To this end, we are fortified in the knowledge that we can achieve so much when we embrace common cause and take collective action.

Happy Anniversary!

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Notice of Application to Replace Lost Land Certificates

Notice of Application to Replace Lost Land Certificates

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Notice of Application to Replace Lost Land Certificates

Notice of Application to Replace Lost Land Certificates

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LICB Men's 50 Overs Championship

LICB Men’s 50 Overs Championship

 

 

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Little Bay - 2008 with Potato hill, bottom rt; Renesvouz bluff, mid-left. (Barge stranded aground on shoreline below Potato Hill)

Little Bay port development by 2020

by Bennette Roach

Little Bay – 2008 with Potato hill, bottom rt; Rendesvouz bluff, beach barely seen beyond, mid-left. (Barge stranded aground on shoreline below Potato Hill)

Premier the Hon. Donaldson Romeo has been touting on the transformation projects that are about to be rolled out by the end of this year. Among them is what his government sees as most integral to the development of Montserrat. As reported he is spouting great optimism surrounding the delivery of a new breakwater and berthing facility for Montserrat. Only that will not break ground until next year.

Earlier in this month like before, the Government was reportedly in negotiation with the European Union for an additional £5million to fund the project. This is expected to supplement the 14.4 million pounds or $50.8 million already allocated under the UK Caribbean Investment Fund, UK-CIF.

Government of Montserrat (GoM) confirmed that the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) delegation was due to travel to Montserrat soon, to move the project to the next stage.

The Premier explained, “following that we hope to go to procurement on the port a final decision as to what we’re doing with the port and go to procurement, hopefully as I said before we go towards having a contract in place and action on the port around this time next year, by this time next year with a view to spend those funds by 2020.”

He continued: “…a port would have to be in place completed by 2020,” as he confirms, “… that’s one certainty we have once we complete the negotiation successfully.”

He promises, “there will be activity over that period from next year right into 2020 which is good news for the man out there who wants that continuous work that I’ve spoken about.”

He said the visit by the bank was confirmed at the CDB’s forty seventh Annual General Meeting in Turks and Caicos being attended by the Hon Premier Donaldson Romeo, the Financial Secretary Collin Owen and Chief Economist Raja Cadre.

Economic Growth Strategy to get boost

The Premier reportedly has met with the CDB President Dr William Warren Smith and the full board of directors. Premier Romeo discussed the five transformational projects that Montserrat plan to take forward and focused on the partnership between the C.B.D. and Montserrat to deliver the breakwater facility.

It was also confirmed at the meeting that CDB’s Chief Economist will be visiting Montserrat to support the development of the economic growth strategy now being developed by the government.

Meanwhile in late news Friday, a Press Conference on Port Development Project is announced for Tuesday, August 21, 2018  advising that the Project will be implemented by the Ministry of Communications, Works, Energy and Labour.

The information says, that “Since the signing, the Ministry has been inviting and receiving tenders for several key aspects of the project, including, perhaps beginning with the provision of ‘Technical Consultancy and Supervision of the project. 

This Press Conference will therefore provide an update on the tender process and the upcoming stages required as part of the project implementation.

 

Pics Premier

Little Bay

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