ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says all the finance required to construct the national mulit-sports complex will come from the controversial Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI).
The complex is expected to cost in excess of EC$40 million and Skerrit, who is also Minister of Finance, said government had already identified the funds for the venture and would not have to now engage in a process of sourcing financing.
“I can say to the country, as the Minister of Finance I have set this money aside to build this facility,” Skerrit said.
“We are not going to be looking for the money, we have the money to build the facility. The entire sum will come from the Citizenship by Investment Programme.”
The programme, which has come in for criticism in some quarters, is designed to lure wealthy investors to the country in exchange for becoming citizens of the country.
Already, the programme has been used to fund several ventures including a school feeding programme in primary schools.
Skerrit was quick to push back against critics of the programme, arguing it provided a means of revenue for government that did not include taxation.
“When we have elements in our country who collude with external people who do not even know where Dominica is, and who have never been to Dominica, who have no interest in Dominica’s wellbeing to seek to undermine and destroy a major source of non-tax revenue for our country, it is something that every citizen, irrespective of who you are we need to frown upon,” the country’s leader said.
The sports complex is expected to provide a venue for basketball, netball, volleyball, tennis and swimming and will boast both indoor and outdoor courts.
Only last week, government signed a million-dollar contract with a Puerto Rican firm for the design of the complex.