Vince Henderson says the figure of 30% is not practical. File photo

Dominica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Vince Henderson, has refuted the suggestion that the now- departed Ross University accounted for as much as 30% of the Dominica’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Ross has permanently relocated to Barbados where, according to Prime Minister Mia Mottley, the university’s $100.00 million contribution will represent 1% of that country’s US 4.8 billion GDP (2017 figures).

Speaking on Kairi FM’s Next Level Programme recently, Henderson said Ross’s contribution to Dominica was in the region of 7 percent.

“From the figures that we have and since 2006, if you recall, the government started categorizing education services as a category for the purposes of looking at the economy and the growth in the economy,” he said. “And the figures from 2013 to 2017 show that there was about 11.3 percent that education services contributed  to GDP and out of that include public education services and when you remove that and get to private, it is about 7.6 percent, with Ross giving 6.2 and All Saints giving the rest [1.4 percent].”

Henderson continued, “When you look at that, even if we are to say that we didn’t capture all the data properly, there is the underground economy that you could not capture because it’s underground, even if you were to cater for that, that is a far cry from 30 percent.”

He said it means that about 23.8 percent wasn’t captured.

“I mean that’s not practical,” he stated.

However, in an article which was posted on Dominica News Online on July 13, 2018, Neal Nixon, a member of the Green Haven Group, reaches a different conclusion in making the correlation between Ross University’s contribution and Dominica’s GDP. He broadens his measurement to include the impact of income from Ross on other aspects of the economy outside of the education sector.  In Nixon’s calculations, Ross made an annual contribution of about $109.4 million (as per table below) to Dominica’s economy and using a GDP of $580 million (Dominica’s GDP last reported by the World Bank a year or so ago), he concluded that Ross University accounted for 19% of Dominica’s GDP, 19 cents of every dollar generated.

Ross University’s Annual Contribution to Dominica’s Economy

Tuition and Fees $83,835,000
Rental Expenses $8,748,000
Living Expenses $14,813,280
Other $2,000,000
Total Contribution $109,396,280

But those whose businesses and livelihoods have been affected by the Ross move, do not appear to be interested in revenue to GDP ratios whether 7%, 19% or 30%. Their main concern, some have told DNO, is the unavoidable reality of their economic demise with no remedy as yet in sight.