BVI may have missed opportunity to bag UK’s loan guarantee offer
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has hinted that the BVI may have missed its opportunity to secure the £300 million loan guarantee offer made by the United Kingdom years ago after two major hurricanes devastated the territory.
“It’s something that we can return to see if we can get it back on the table, but we’ve essentially lost the opportunity to get the guarantee as of right now. Whether we can get the opportunity again, it depends on us,” the Premier told reporters at a recent press conference.
Meanwhile, the government recently signalled its intention to seek a sizeable loan to put towards the territory’s infrastructural development and continued recovery from hurricanes Irma and Maria. But the Premier said the projects for which the government is seeking funding would not be large enough to secure the UK’s loan guarantee.
Dr Wheatley said at the time: “We need to make a heavy investment in our infrastructure — in our roads, in our bridges, in our drains, in our culverts — all of these different areas of our infrastructure need investment but those can only be done if we make an injection into the infrastructure through something like a loan.”
However, Premier Wheatley pointed out that there are still other projects that the government will need to have discussions about in the future.
“For instance, the expansion of the airport. That would cost upwards of $200 million. A guarantee and those low-interest rates would be helpful,” he stated.
Just recently, the Premier stated that the Althea Scatliffe Primary School will most likely have to be rebuilt with loan funding, however no decisions have been made by the government on whether the school will actually be demolished and rebuilt and what the likely cost for this would be.