By Ken Richards
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) -- The St Kitts and Nevis federal government in Basseterre has been accused by former government minister Dwyer Astaphan of deliberately attempting to undermine the opposition-run Nevis Island Administration.
Astaphan charged that there is a deliberate attempt to embarrass, frustrate, intimidate, disrupt and besiege the NIA.
He cited what he insisted are credible examples of this, including requests of the NIA for loan guarantees for essential projects being “ignored and scoffed at”.
Astaphan contended too that there appears to be a level of discrimination with the PEP programme being handled by the government in St Kitts but by other people in Nevis.
That programme provides temporary work for unemployed young people.
Astaphan suggested as well that Nevis was not receiving its share of funds from the SIDF – the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation -- whose revenue comes from the sale of St Kitts and Nevis passports.
NIA officials are on record as having made similar complaints.
According to former minister Astaphan, the NIA and the people of Nevis are being “robbed of the VAT collected in Nevis”.
The outspoken Astaphan is calling for a more cordial and harmonious approach to governance in the two islands.
“The people who are allowing those things to happen can stop them from happening. What has Mr Amory (the Nevis premier) or what has Mr Brantley (deputy premier) or any other member of that administration done to incur the wrath and this deliberateness coming from Basseterre,” Astaphan asked.
He said there are constitutional and ethical guidelines that govern the relationship between St Kitts and Nevis, and these should be adhered to.
Republished with permission of West Indies News Network