NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (September 08, 2021) — Hon. Spencer Brand, Minister of Physical Planning on Nevis, gave contractors on the island an opportunity to ventilate on the Building Contractors Registration and Regulation Bill, 2021 which had its first reading in the Nevis Island Assembly on July 13, 2021.
Addressing a number of local contractors at a consultation–hosted by the Department of Physical Planning and the Nevis Island Administration’s (NIA) Legal Department at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall on September 07, 2021–the minister underscored the importance of the bill which is designed to ultimately provide a better quality of service to consumers.
“I have…no intention of depriving anyone from earning a living but I feel that there must be a systematic approach for anyone who wants to ply their trade in this very important industry. I believe that it would offer protection for you as a contractor, as an electrician, as a plumber but it would also offer for you the opportunity to expand, to grow and to find yourselves, as it were, taking on larger and much more meaningful projects.
“At the end of this consultation, I hope that we can go to parliament with this legislation and have unanimous support for it, for the benefit and the development of our island because from where I sit, that is what I am all about, to see this develop, to see Nevis progress, to see Nevis advance, and I have a feeling that you who are in this construction sector have and will have a critical role to play,” he said.
Mr. Brand who has a background in architecture, said he had always seen the need for improving the sector, and the time had come for the contractors to contribute to the Bill.
“I believe that the construction sector on the island of Nevis must be taken to a different level, and when I became in that position to give some direction to the sector, I felt that the time was right to bring this piece of legislation for the island of Nevis… I want to say to the contractors, I want you basically to take ownership of this legislation…
“I felt that if we were to pass a piece of legislation that will have far-reaching and wide-ranging impact on such an important sector that there must be consultation. I believe that we are at that stage where we will have that consultation…and we want to have that honest conversation because at the end of the day it is for your benefit,” he said.
The Physical Planning Minister also explained that with new technologies and new methods of construction, and a sector which continues to be dynamic and innovative he does not want to see the local contractors left behind. He urged them to be open and honest during the session.
He expressed hope that in the end there would be a piece of legislation that can work seamlessly with the Department of Physical Planning, the banking sector and the ministry for the benefit of contractors and for the development of Nevis.
Among those present at the consultation were Mr. Denzil Stanley, Principal Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Communication and Works, who chaired the consultation; Mr. De-Jono Liburd, Legal Counsel at the Legal Department; Mrs. Rhonda Nisbett-Brown, Senior Legal Counsel at the Legal Department; Mrs. Hélène Anne Lewis, Legal Advisor in the Nevis Island Administration; Mr. Raoul Pemberton, Director of the Department of Physical Planning; and Mr. Jevon Williams, Director of the Public Works Department.