The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew in an address to the nation on Monday 12th December 2022, announced that citizens and residents for the first time will receive a Citizenship by Investment COVID-19 Relief Payment (Dividend) from the proceeds generated from the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme.
Twenty-three (23) million dollars were allocated for the payment of the CBI COVID-19 Relief Payment (Dividend); the Government's fifth (5th) COVID-19 relief initiative since taking office in August 2022.
The CBI Programme was introduced to St. Kitts and Nevis in 1984, nearly four (4) decades ago, but this is the first time such a policy has been established by any government administration.
"In fact, it is the first time in the Caribbean that ordinary citizens and residents are being paid a dividend on any state asset. This makes it a significant gesture by your caring government, recognizing that citizens and residents contribute greatly to the development of any asset of St. Kitts and Nevis" stated Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, National Security, Citizenship and Immigration, Health and Social Security.
This new initiative was a pledge made to the citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis during the August 2022 election campaign in his capacity as Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, that once it got into office every citizen will receive a dividend from the CBI proceeds.
"...come December 15th 2022 every Kittitian and Nevisian and other residents paying social security in this country, SHALL receive a cheque courtesy the CBI Programme that will in total represent a percentage of net revenues from the programme for the preceding six months. So when you elect an SKNLP government, we shall all become shareholders in CBI!".
Citizens and residents who are Pensioners and Pensionable, that is, those who have made fine hundred (500) or more contributions to the Social Security Fund will receive a payment of EC$500.00.
Those who are not yet pensionable, that is, those who have made four hundred and ninety-nine (499) or less contributions to the Social Security Fund will receive EC$250.00.
In his address last evening, Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew stated that the CBI Programme was "abused by the previous administration" which has negatively affected the profits and proceeded to inform the public on how the proceeds from the CBI are being further allocated.
"However, hundreds of millions of the Citizenship by Investment funds were abused by the previous administration, hence the profit margin that could have been is significantly reduced...Portions of that profit have been allocated to the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund. Portions of the profit are also assigned to capital investment for the general good of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis collectively."
The payment process is scheduled to begin by Thursday December 15th, 2022 with the goal of all payments being completed by December 31st 2022.
Social Security and Government Pensioners, as well as persons who are employed at major private and public corporations with whom Social Security has verified banking information, are not required to apply for the dividend as their information has already been provided by their respective employers or already verified by Social Security.
Other persons are asked to apply online at www.socialsecurity.kn or in person at the Social Security offices in Basseterre and Pinney’s Estate.
A valid social security card and proof of accurate banking details are required. Persons who may not have a social security card are encouraged to present a valid passport or birth certificate.
It is the intention of the Government of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis to distribute the CBI COVID-19 Relief Payment or Dividend to the citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis twice per year (every six (6) months).
The Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, National Security, Citizenship and Immigration, Health and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew's full address can be viewed here, https://fb.watch/hohSOPPlQg/ .