‘Our people need jobs’ | Premier talks plans to boost construction industry

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In an effort to provide much-needed employment opportunities for residents, Premier Andrew Fahie said his administration is giving the construction industry a necessary boost.

During an address to the nation last evening, August 9, he said part of the $40 million grant from the BVI Social Security Board would go towards infrastructural projects.

Fahie mentioned two new projects — the construction of a multipurpose port facility building at Jost Van Dyke and repairs to the Jeffery Caines Sports Arena in The Valley, Virgin Gorda.

He also said the long-overdue East End/Long Look Sewerage Project will now receive funding for its commencement.

In the meantime, he pointed to several ongoing projects such as the $17 million contract for the construction of 43 homes at Joes Hill.

He said many local subcontractors will be given an opportunity to display their skills while helping to build the economy through this project. He also cited other projects such as the current housing recovery and repairs initiative.

These projects include the ongoing repairs to the Ralph T O’Neal Administration Complex in Tortola, repairs to the John E George Administration Building in North Sound in Virgin Gorda, repairs to the Flax Administration Building and the Vanterpool Administration Building in the Valley, Virgin Gorda.

Other ongoing projects include road paving in Anegada and Jost Van Dyke as well as repairs to the Anegada Fire Station, Bregado Flax Education Centre in Virgin Gorda, and resurfacing and repairs to public roads.

Repairs to the Carrot Bay reservoir and Zion Hill reservoirs also form part of that list.

He said there would be many other ongoing construction projects and those that will be “in the near future.” 

Boost important 

Fahie, who is also the Minister for Finance, said, these construction projects are important.

“Some persons may ask why we are placing so much emphasis on construction and not, for instance, on barbershops, hair salons, and other businesses. The simple reason is that these projects and these funds are a booster shot into the economy,” he said.

“When we apply this booster shot in the construction sector, the territory is able to get some value from the expenditure of this money, and the money will spread into our other sectors which will benefit as well. We need our infrastructural work done, our local businesses need economic activity, and our people need jobs,” Fahie added.

The premier further said this is an opportune time for local contractors to “step up and prove they can deliver the quality goods” and for the BVI to redefine the dynamics of local sectors in favour of Virgin Islanders.

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