The town of Vieux-Fort is to receive a 64 million dollar administrative complex as efforts continue to decentralize government services.
This has been a welcomed development for the Member of Parliament for Vieux-Fort South, Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony.
The 75,000 square foot Administrative Complete to be built at Beanefield in Vieux-Fort comes at the urging of Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony, in 2012, for the National Insurance Corporation to decentralize its investments.
Director of the NIC Matthew Mathurin said at the sod-turning ceremony, that after careful scrutiny and in-depth analysis his organisation felt confident of the returns on investment.
He said “given the commendable record of government in honoring its obligations to the NIC, we are confident in financing projects of this nature with the Government of Saint Lucia because we have the assurance that our investment objectives will be met”.
The project will be undertaken by the Government of Saint Lucia in partnership with the National Insurance Corporation. The NIC Director said the investment is in keeping with the National Insurance Corporation Act.
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony welcomed the investment in the south of the island, noting that there must be equity in investment and in the treatment of the people of St. Lucia wherever they might be.
Dr. Anthony revealed to his audience that “it’s a message that I have drummed into the National Insurance Corporation; emphasized time and time again that all investments should not be located in the north, in the Castries basin; that all workers of this country wherever they are located contribute to the resources of the National Insurance Corporation and they too must be part of the investment initiatives of the corporation”.
The Prime Minister expressed the hope that the towns of Soufriere and Gros Islet will benefit from future NIC investments.
Dr. Anthony said the Vieux-Fort Administrative Complex when completed will serve the southern half of the island bringing relief, conveniences, productivity and cost savings to residents.
The Prime Minister who is also the Member of Parliament for Vieux-Fort South said that it can’t be right for someone from the south to travel to Castries multiple times to check on something like a civil status record, only to be told it’s not ready yet.
Dr. Anthony noted that other huge countries have been able to decentralize basic services, but ‘for some strange reason here in St. Lucia, despite our size we have not been able to accomplish this”.
The EC$64m Vieux-Fort Administrative Complex will be built by Construction and Industrial Equipment Limited, CIE. Its team leader Rayneau Gajadhar confirmed this will be the largest project ever undertaken by a totally local construction firm. He was relieved that his belief and confidence in his abilities and St. Lucia was worth it.