Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith confirmed that $82M was expended on the cruise pier project and stressed that he has no intention of interfering with the audit that was commissioned to examine the project.
During his budget address Premier Smith mentioned the project and its cost, both of which have come under heavy criticism over the past weeks.
In addressing the matter, Hon. Smith announced: “Much has been said in this community about the Eighty-Two Million Dollars ($82M) spent on this project. As I announced about two weeks ago, I have commissioned an independent international firm to carry out a full audit of this expenditure.”
The Minister of Finance promised that the findings of the audit will be carefully reviewed and made public. He also assured that the $82M port expenditure includes the eight million dollars that was advanced by Central Government to the BVI Ports Authority.
“While I have no intention of interfering in the audit, I must make it quite clear to the public that the BVI Ports Authority and the ports for which it is responsible are wholly owned by the Government of the Virgin Islands as are ALL of our Statutory Bodies and Companies. Advancing monies to our Statutory Bodies, when necessary,” the Premier stated.