Office of the Premier and Public Policy


Members of the Cabinet!

My fellow Turks and Caicos Islanders!

Good Evening!

Let us take a moment to give God thanks for his many blessings which sustained us especially in the difficult times.

It has been a rough 18 months. We have lost many Turks and Caicos Islanders to COVID- 19 and in other ways.  To those who carry the burden of loss, I extend my deepest sympathy.

It is said that there is nothing more valuable and honourable than the integrity of your word.

When I took office as your Premier, I promised you transparency and accountability. I promised that I would keep you updated each step of the way, as we work to improve your lives and advance the growth and development of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Wednesday September 7th marked 200 days in office for my administration.

We have been busy working on your behalf. Things are not where we want them to be yet, but we are making progress.

After taking office, the team and I took a few weeks to look at what the previous government left. As we faced down the Pandemic, we had to plan carefully to avoid mistakes and disasters.

We developed policies and programmes that would give us the quickest path out of the economic and health crisis that brought such severe hardships and suffering.

We have:

  • Restructured Ministries to make them more effective and service oriented
  • Assigned Ministerial Portfolios
  • Assessed the situation within each ministry to see how best we could fast track programmes and allocate resources for the benefit of our people.
  • Found ways to ease the burdens caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are implementing programmes and policies that will lead to job creation, economic growth, and a better quality of life for all our people.


When we assumed office, COVID-19 was a major threat to the health and wellbeing of our people.

The TCI faced a serious travel warning from the United States and a travel ban from Canada due to COVID and crime.

There were mass cancellations and low occupancy levels. Today we have a different and more positive story to tell:

  • Infections remain low.
  • We accelerated the distribution of the COVID 19 Vaccine.
  • 3% of Turks and Caicos Islanders are now fully vaccinated including Stamp and Work Permit Holders and persons applying for Permanent Resident Certificates and their dependents.
  • On September 17, we received our 5th batch of Pfizer vaccines. When administered 75% of the population will be fully vaccinated.
  • Our protocols meet international travel benchmarks.
  • The confidence of travellers in the TCI has returned.
  • When we made the decision to open our borders to the vaccinated, it was the right decision. Now I see many other countries are doing the same.

To address the economic fallout from the pandemic, we provided 15-million dollars in stimulus grants.

Every eligible person over 18 years old who made a request received a cheque for $1,000.

We have provided support to struggling small businesses and self-employed persons by writing off outstanding debts and fees owed to government and statutory bodies.  


We have set aside $5.3-million for works projects across the islands. Work has commenced and is being rolled out in categories relating to contractors’ licenses: -

  • Level One valued at $1,500 to $10,000
  • Level Two valued at $10,000 to $40,000
  • Level Three valued at $40,000 to $70,000

Contracts awarded so far:

  • 37 contracts awarded so far for all islands at a value of $202,323 for street cleaning

Demolition Works
South Caicos  - 7 evaluated and awarded valued at $110,518.77
Grand Turk, 4 tenders closing tomorrow, September 24, 2021. Evaluation next week valued at $76,500

Beach Cleaning-

Grand Turk - Seven locations – Tenders going out next week Tuesday, September 28, 2021 valued at $70k

Road and Verge Cleaning

Providenciales – Tenders going out next week Wednesday, September 29, 2021 valued at $366,600

Scoping works currently taking place today September 23, 2021, for the following islands:
Salt Cay
North Caicos
Middle Caicos

Canal Cleaning

2 tenders for Grand Turk next week, Monday, September 27, 2021 valued at $10,100.00

We are providing gainful employment, restoring hope and dignity while cleaning up and beautifying our land.


As we deal with the ongoing pandemic, our budget process is continuous and reactive. To this end, we will table a supplementary appropriations bill early in the third quarter.

Our focus will remain on recovery and support measures while helping the most vulnerable.


COVID -19 opened our eyes to the risk we face as a tourism dependent nation. We must diversify the economy and find ways to feed ourselves.


To achieve food security and cut the import bill, we launched “Growing TCI” as part of the National Agricultural Development Plan. The government is encouraging citizens to grow their own food by giving them seeds and plants. 

We also allocated $1m dollars to upgrade the nursery at Kew Farm in North Caicos. Just recently, we opened the agriculture office there.

My fellow Turks and Caicos Islanders, it is not a quick fix but step by step, we are ensuring that you have access to a constant and nutritious supply of food. We encourage each of you to join the Growing TCI movement.


COVID-19 devastated the Tourism Industry and economy.  Many of you were severely affected with job losses and reduced wages.

The tide is turning.

We made some smart decisions such as allowing vaccinated persons over the age of 16 to travel to the TCI. As a result, we are seeing a better than anticipated reopening of the Tourism Industry.

Over the last ninety days, there have been bumper arrivals – better than achieved pre-COVID 19.

I want to speak directly to the residents of Grand Turk. I know you continue to suffer from fall-out due to the absence of cruise ships.

I have listened to your cries.

I am happy to announce that we last met with Carnival on Tuesday, and are finalizing a Development Agreement with Carnival Corporation. We expect to sign this within the next few days which will facilitate a $25 million investment in the port and the return on cruise ships.

We are confident that cruise ships filled with visitors will be back in time for the high season 21/22.

We are not stopping there.

Government is investing heavily in the improvement of the Cruise Port and infrastructure in Grand Turk including:

  • Acquisition of a Property to be converted into a Vendors Market. $1.5m dollars has been allocated to refurbish and improve the property.
  • Additional properties will be acquired and developed to accommodate vendors who depend on the cruise industry for their livelihood.
  • 2-million dollars will be spent to construct a floating dock for the Water Sports Operators.

We are providing up to $1 million in grants to eligible operators to help them prepare for the reopening of the Cruise Industry.

Operators to be assisted include:

  • Water Sports
  • Taxi/Tour
  • Trams
  • All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
  • Golf Cart Operators
  • Beach Vendors
  • Cabana Vendors
  • Pre- Pandemic Grand Turk Centre Vendors
  • Wedding Planners; and
  • Massage Therapists

In addition to the grant assistance, eligible residents of Grand Turk will have employment opportunities through:

  • The Covid Works Programme
  • Community Enhancement Programme with a budget of $65k and
  • The Infrastructure Improvement Account which has a budget of $4m dollars.

Tourism will continue to be the bedrock of the TCI economy for the foreseeable future.

We will continue to welcome guests if it is safe to do so. Our solemn duty is to first protect the people of these islands.

Government is committed to improving the entire visitor experience from entry to exit through our airports and seaports.  

A new Tourism Regulatory Authority is being set up to elevate the standard of service across the TCI. We must create an experience that mirrors our branding as a luxury travel destination.

Funding has been approved for the establishment of a Tourism Destination Management Organization to drive tourism in the TCI and the process for recruitment of a specialist consultant to take this forward is in on-going.


All signs are pointing to an economy on the rebound.

GDP growth which was forecasted to be about 2.1 percent is now revised up to 3.5 to 4 percent.

The outstanding performance by the hotel, restaurant, and real estate sectors during the first 8 months of 2021 when compared to the same period in 2020 is driving the economic rebound.

Preliminary figures show, that during the first half of this year visitor arrivals increased by approximately 34.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

Merchandise imports into the Turks and Caicos Islands during the first half of this year totalled $215.6 million. This represents an increase of $30.6 million or 16.9% percent when compared to the same period in 2020.

The Recurrent Revenue of $165.4 million at August, exceeded budget by $39.5 million.

The major revenue drivers are:

  • Stamp duty on land transactions - $44m
  • Hotel and Restaurant Tax - $36m
  • Customs processing and Import duties - $42m

Also, Recurrent Expenditure of $100 million is $21.5 million below budget. This is mainly due to the late passage of the estimates. We expect this trajectory to change as the year progresses.

Our Net Operating Surplus is $61 million.

There is no need to borrow to support the budget at this time due to increased revenues and lower than expected expenditure.


Our work to grow and diversify the economic landscape continues with new Foreign Direct Investments.

Development Agreements and MOU’s with a value of nearly $73 million have been approved.

Developments include:

  • Windsong – Provo
  • East Bay – South Caicos
  • Beach Enclave – Provo

Jobs will number 150 during the construction phase and 100 permanent jobs in the operational phase.

The MOUs are:

  • Aismare – $26m dollars in the redevelopment of the North Caicos airport
  • Marathon Ltd – a resort development project in Provo


We are making a special effort to provide support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Grants totalling $160, 873 have been approved.

Amendments to MSME programme are being finalized and the following will be implemented over the next few weeks:

  • Shorter application forms and a more streamlined process
  • Expanded priority areas
  • Greater technical support and program support for growing businesses
  • Greater marketing support for start ups
  • More opportunities to create linkages

In addition, over $1.25 million has been allocated to provide support through the Development Finance Institution (DFI), Partial Credit Guarantee Funding and a Credit Union.

Many MSMEs lack collateral to get loans to expand their businesses. COVID-19 has made this worse. They need access to capital and affordable banking, insurance, and financial services.


My fellow Turks and Caicos Islanders, I believe that no one in the TCI should ever go to bed hungry.

I know that the high cost of food, transportation, housing, electricity, childcare, health, and other necessities is a major cause of concern.

Help is on the way for the most vulnerable.

The Welfare Assistance Programme which currently gives $180 monthly is being revamped.

We will significantly increase the payout to needy families and individuals.

My administration fervently believes that we must give those who need help a hand up.

The book of Proverbs tells us that “whomever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord”.


The concept of bringing E- Governance to the TCI is not new. My administration is taking concrete steps to make it a reality.

$2 million has been allocated and the Terms of Reference for a Chief Information Officer to drive the process are being finalized.

On the 29th of August, Cabinet approved the formation of an IT Steering Committee to provide oversight of all of Government’s IT systems and projects – including those of the Statutory Bodies.

To date, over 30 major IT projected have been earmarked for this financial year – including projects that will:

  • Streamline and speed up the leasing of Crown land
  • Bring our judicial system into the digital age by supporting the electronic filing and tracking of cases
  • Track and capture our workforce demographics, which will allow my government to ensure that Turks & Caicos Islanders are given first preference in the job market
  • Allow for the electronic filing and tracking of scholarship applications, and
  • Allow for the electronic filling of vehicle registrations and licenses, and driver’s license applications.


We are committed to creating a healthcare system that is affordable, accessible, well equipped, fully staffed and promotes healthy living

Regulations and standards are being drafted that will allow for quality assurance audits of all healthcare delivery systems in the TCI.

We must ensure that you get value for money and the best access to care.

Consultations have started on the creation of a framework for the development and implementation of an interconnected health system. The Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) has assigned technical experts to assist the Ministry in this process.

Cabinet has approved the merger of the National Insurance Board (NIB) and the National Health Insurance Board (NHIB) collection and compliance functions. This will ensure greater efficiency and cost reductions.  A project manager has been appointed to drive the process.


A programme manager is to be hired to drive the creation of a Local Government Department. Each island will have its own local authority which will give the people a say in decision making. This administration believes in more community engagement.


We are all concerned about the safety and security of our people, our visitors and property.

Our territorial waters are appealing to smugglers, poachers, illegal immigrants and human traffickers, so we must always be on alert.

We need a properly trained cadre of security officers.

To fulfil this goal, Government is acquiring property to develop a training academy for Customs, the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, Immigration, Police and the TCI Regiment.

This week, a joint tender was issued for group accidental and travel insurance for our police officers, fire fighters, prison wardens and TCI Regiment.

The first recruits for the TCI Regiment - forty (40) Marine Reserves completed basic training in July 2021, supported by the United Kingdom Royal Marines.

The TCI Regiment will support the protection of the borders and humanitarian and disaster relief.


As we promised during the election campaign and to protect Turks and Caicos Islanders, we are reviewing the Immigration Ordinance.

We want to ensure that when people come to the TCI, they do not take jobs from Turks and Caicos Islanders. We will also ensure that a pathway to TCI Islander status is a stricter process and not too easily achieved.

To enforce immigration laws, intelligence driven Operation Compliance has commenced.

In partnership with the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force(RTCIPF) and Department of Employment Services and Labour, inspections for violations are carried out at workplaces, traffic stops and at the Providenciales International Airport.


We are reintroducing the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) Pension Scheme and Terminal Benefits package.

$2 million has been allocated as ‘seed’ financing to provide a long-term sustainable retirement plan for Public Servants and persons who serve on Statutory and other Bodies. This could also include members of the general public.

We hired a consultant who visited at the end of July, met with stakeholders and held public consultations. The next step is to draft the necessary policy and legislation.


As a Small Island State that is so reliant on tourism, we must keep our environment pristine. To this end, government has restricted the importation of vehicles older that ten (10) years and has instituted a ban on the importation of used tires. This comes into full effect on October 15th.


As we move towards expanding the economy, creating jobs, and improving the lives of Turks and Caicos Islanders, we are undertaking a massive public sector infrastructure investment programme.

Projects that will be tendered this week include:

  • Bellefield Landing Dredging
  • Reconstruction of Matthew Canal Salt Cay
  • Reconstruction of Lil Harkless Canal, South Caicos
  • Replacement Vehicles for the Public Works Department
  • Airside Walkway Canopy in Providenciales International Airport

We are not done yet!

More projects are being put to tender in the coming weeks. They include:

  • Consultancy Services for the National Health Insurance Plan
  • Purchase of Motor Vehicles for National Insurance
  • South Dock Port Redevelopment
  • Upgrading of DECR Laboratory
  • Repairs to DECR Office North Caicos
  • Bus Services for various schools
  • Improvements to the office building for Financial Services Sector
  • A new computer system for National Insurance Board

We encourage every islander who can, to participate in these projects.

We published the Annual Programme Plan on August 27, 2021. It includes all the potential procurement opportunities for TCIG as well as Statutory Bodies.

We encourage you to check the government website to view all procurement opportunities.

Interested persons are asked to attend all pre-tender meetings to understand the requirements.


My administration is investing heavily in the TCI future through education.

Our focus is on the little ones - we have to start them right and on those children with special needs who often fall through the cracks.

  • 5500 tablets/laptops/iPads and MIFI devices have been provided to students.
  • Government is acquiring property to develop its hotel tourism school. Training of staff is critical to creating the high-end destination we are building.
  • The TCI Community College will be strengthened to deliver TVET programmes to assist residents in improving their skills and assisting with the development of small businesses throughout the TCI.


For sustainable economic success, our young people must be given a chance to maximise their potential and productivity.

The Youth Policy was recently approved by Cabinet and ready for implementation.

A draft Early Childhood Policy and Early Childhood Educational Standards is to be submitted to Cabinet for approval and then for public consultation.


My fellow Turks and Caicos Islanders, from day one, I promised you accountability, transparency, effective leadership, and consistent communication.

I continue to believe that honest and open communication creates a positive and beneficial relationship between the government and people.

That is why we have been faithful to our promise to:

  • Hold regular press conferences/media interviews
  • Organize community updates and engagement through special activities and constituency days
  • Some ministries, departments and agencies are using multiple electronic formats, websites, and social media to interface with you.

It is my intention to report to you in this format on a regular basis and my next address is scheduled for the month of the November.


My fellow Turks and Caicos Islanders!

We are proud of our work and the many achievements over our first 200 days. We are just getting started.

We never forget that we work for you. We never forget that it is our solemn duty to:

  • Give our children the best possible education
  • Provide better and more affordable healthcare
  • Create an economy that works for all
  • Provide small businesses with the tools to grow and achieve success
  • Make the TCI the safest and best place to live and work

My fellow Turks and Caicos Islanders, every day I am amazed at your courage, your endurance, your decency and kindness.

Let us continue to dream together, work together play together and pray together.

If we unite in purpose, strengthen our economy and put all our people back to work, this jewel that we are so privileged to call home will continue to shine bright.

Thank you!

May God bless each of you and our beloved and beautiful by nature Turks and Caicos Islands.