Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has assured that Dominicans will not be taxed for the construction of the island’s massive international airport.
At the Diaspora Forum 2022 held Wednesday, Skerrit reiterated that the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme is the airport’s main source of funding.
“We decided to use CBI funds to build an airport, and once the airport is built, nobody will be paying for the airport because there will be no loans,” Skerrit said.
Funds from the CBI programme has long been considered by the Skerrit administration even before Hurricane Maria hit in 2017. In fact, they have started to save a portion of it, amounting to 200 million USD until Maria decimated the island. The saved funds were then used to help Dominicans begin their lives again.
Going for the same method of saving will take a much longer time, Skerrit further explained, so the government decided to work with MMC Development Ltd.—a longstanding partner of Skerrit’s government in developing climate-resilient infrastructure—to take on the ambitious project.
“We have partnered with MMC Development Ltd. to build the international airport by utilizing the Citizenship by Investment Programme, which means that report is completed, and the good Lord will cause the international airport to be constructed in Dominica,” Skerrit said.
The airport project finally took off in 2021 when the government of Dominica and MMC Development Ltd. signed an agreement to start building the island’s only gateway to the world, with the private company acting as the main overseer and developer of the project.
“The Dominica International Airport Project is the biggest contracted project not only in the history of Dominica but also in the history of the Eastern Caribbean region,” MMCE Chief Executive Officer Dr. Anthony Haiden said in his remarks during the contract signing last year. “[And] MMCE is privileged to contribute to this history-making initiative as we embark on a legendary project.”
Airport’s latest amenities revealed
Skerrit has also revealed the latest amenities of the airport at the recent forum.
“The government of Dominica is putting health facilities at the airport, as in the events like pandemic, we can isolate people. There will be a health centre that will be fully outfitted in any event of any accident,” the prime minister said.
To make the journey of the travelers more comfortable, Skerrit also said that there will be manicure/pedicure, hair, and massage services at the airport, as well as a plunge pool next to the business lounge.
Skerrit also highlighted the assistance the CBI Programme has given in constructing five-star hotels across Dominica, which will be more in demand as the island opens to the world.
“Many of the hotels that have been built by the CBI Programme are owned by Dominicans,” he said. “We are utilizing the CBI Programme to empower [our] citizens and help them build their businesses on the island.”
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