Coronavirus outbreak expected to delay China funded projects – PM Skerrit

Prime Minister Roosvelt Skerrit at Caricom meeting photo courtesy the Prime Minister’s Facebook

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit believes that the spread of the coronavirus will likely cause the delay of some China-funded projects in Dominica.

Speaking at a meeting of CARICOM heads in Barbados on Sunday he mentioned one of the projects being the construction of the much-talked-about International Airport.

“We were supposed to receive a technical delegation from the government of China in the month of February,” he said. “We had to put this on hold obviously and I am supposed to go to China in the next couple of months on an official visit, and of course this is on hold.”

He continued, “Certainly it’s going to have an impact on some of the projects, because there are some technical work that is required to be done physically by the Chinese experts and we have to make a determination on these things.”

According to him a number of airlines stopped flying into China.

Skerrit said further that the first interest is to ensure that if this virus can be contained there can be a reduction in the number of people affected, “and then there can be some normalcy.”

“Our concern is about the health and wellness of our global heads,” he indicated.

In 2013, the Prime Minister announced that he had signed a US$300-million deal with Chinese company ASCG with “reconstruction of an international airport” in Compton Point near Calibishie, among the projects to be undertaken under the agreement.

The topic resurfaced at a Dominica Labour Party Rally on May 5, 2014 when Skerrit said that his government was actively pursuing several projects, including the construction of an international airport through the BOOT – Build, Own, Operate and Transfer – option, with a team of private developers from China.

Following a trip to China that same month, the prime minister promised to make public, a document which showed “good progress” on the project but that never materialized.

In March 2017, Skerrit told a group of students from the North East Comprehensive School that the airport would be built in the north-eastern part of the island. He said an American firm was engaged to do all of the studies in relation to the project and would be doing a presentation to the cabinet on the 21st of April, 2017 on its findings.

In May 2019, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said that the government hopes to access technical assistance from the World Bank in its plans to construct an international airport in Dominica. He said at the time the World Bank can provide access to that capacity and that his government was looking forward to engage this project in the very short term.

In January 2020 he said the government will disburse payments to some of the landowners who have concluded negotiations for the construction of the International Airport.

He said his government is making progress on the airport which is expected to be constructed from Eden back to the Woodfordhill area.

Skerrit said the airport is a national priority for Dominica and believes that its presence will complement the country’s thrust in tourism and agriculture.

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  1. Roba Nova
    March 7, 2020

    Never ever trust a thief and a liar!

  2. March 6, 2020

    He is the Prime Minister of the country. He has a right to speak up about the deadly disease. Other leaders of other countries do, be it the Mayor, or the Governor, or the President. So, what is wrong about that? If he had kept quiet and said nothing, you all would have had a lot to say. You all just mad because Lennox is not the PM and never will be the PM. No matter what the man does or say, you all sogoflies have a lot to say. Just remember, 18 to 3. Take it or leave it. The UWP cabal is just a bag of worms. We need a handsome, intelligent man like Maurice Bishop to run the country. Skerrit is the answer. Not drop out Lennox. The doctors and nurses are doing their work. Skerrit has a right to update Dominicans about where the are with regards to the coronavirus. That is his job. You all are boom flies UWP like Lennox, Baptiste, and dirty, laundry man Joshua

    • Me
      March 6, 2020

      Everyone is entitled to speak but remember, you get judged by it and you never can take it back.

    • viewsexpressed
      March 7, 2020

      DS, please take note. The deadly disease you refer to has been going on now for over 20yrs and that is where this incompetent Skerrit has failed. Up at the Financial Centre, most of us will not talk openly that we know “Skerrit is a big failure, has no concept of socio-economic development and we stay there and has been watching our Dominica disseminate to poverty way below the belt. So go after Skerrit and ask this fraud where is our banana etc and why is it now abuses our passports he sees as a commodity simple when ask, it is because Skerrit is so dumb and knows absolutely nothing of Socio-eco development. The easiest BS for him is sell our passports and we still have not received an account for our passports and other nefarious matters of states resources. He is the Prime Minister of the country. “He has a right to speak up about the deadly disease.” Oh yes, you are so right, this deadly contagious political corrupted disease he has put on our people. Skerrit has failed us…

  3. dissident
    March 6, 2020

    Up until the recent general election Skerrit was using the 2008 financial crisis as an excuse for Dominica economy being backward. He could never explain how he became a millionaire in the same period!
    Now Skerrit grinning because he have a classic excuse why a hospital at Marigot near the airport and a brand new international airport will be on hold.

    I can see him now shrugging….. saying things were beyond his control.

    Skerrit boasting off Chinese people who prop him up.


  4. My Opinion
    March 6, 2020

    It seems every two years or two and half this Government getting the perfect excuses to bail them out and to hide their lies. When Tropical Storm Erika passed everything was blamed on Erika, that’s all we were hearing. Hurricane Maria Came along and for two years that’s all we’ve been hearing. They even use maria to make themselves look like champions for rebuilding this country when it is their obligation. Now 2 yrs six months later Corona Virus. How convenient for them and until something else does not happen that’s all we going to be hearing, corona this and that…. smh

    • viewsexpressed
      March 7, 2020

      This Hurricane to Bone is “Hurricane Skerrit”. That`s where the destruction of our Economy and our country has failed and continue to fail deeply into poverty and shame.
      Everything is to be blamed on Skerrit and his government. We have lost our agricultural sector and revenue. Our passports, our prize document, is sold to all the Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. We need answers now and someone at the helm of the Labour government must be held accountable.
      We need a change of leadership in our Dominica. We know that the trusted, highly professional United Workers Party are a reputable Team under its distinguished, highly professional Hon. Linton, that our suffering people will move on away from Skerrit. Our Dominica will advance out of poverty, with jobs and Development. Look where Haiti is today. They put a “Baby Doc” to be President. In Dominica they put a “Baby Skerrit”, who lacks the processes and decency of socio development. Skerrit must Go. He has failed us and Dominica…

    • Batibou River
      March 10, 2020

      He has not really found an excuse yet in regards to the missing CBI and PetroCaribe money. Just a deafening silence and the odd attempt to change the conversation.

  5. Waiting For Airport
    March 6, 2020

    I suspect Skerrit wake up that morning and checking ‘lemme take a kicks on dem D*** A** Dominicans today’

    I mean what is the point of this update? Just to further antagonise us? We already know you have no intention of ever building this airport, so is not like we sit down waiting for the next update, but you going out of your way to remind us how much you boboling us!

    But at the end of the day:

    Say zot ki mataey la

  6. Dominican
    March 6, 2020

    Let’s be clear, it was not Skerrit, who put the planned visit by the Chinese delegation on hold, China did. Whether the excuse about the delay in the airport construction is genuine or not, China will be rethinking their belt & road project of which Dominica is a link. This is because the corona virus has made a lot of leading world economies realise how dependent they are on China as a supplier of, especially components for their manufacturing industries and will want to shorten that supply line and locate it closer to home. The Chinese government will have a massive reconfiguration of their plans in which we were only ever a pawn.

  7. Hmm
    March 5, 2020

    Awa wi.. mr prime minister plz focus on ur ppl health from this virus and let china deal with its ppl.. tomorrow is another day.. lord look over ur ppl :(

  8. The EVil one
    March 5, 2020

    “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One” Isa 31:1

    The Evil one turned to China and to him China was everything. China is attacked and now you crying?

  9. Ahaz & Jezebel
    March 5, 2020

    This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives her. 17:5
    All you turned away from God and put all you trust in Ahab and Jezebel so enjoy all of what Ahab and Jezebel his wife have to offer

    • Me
      March 6, 2020

      Pity, coronavirus has not heard of God, nor of Ahab and Jezebel.

  10. Maybe
    March 5, 2020

    Stop complaining all you put him there he didn’t put himself there take what all you get

    • Malpapye
      March 6, 2020

      DNO , stop making people laugh at us. :mrgreen:

  11. Da Girl
    March 5, 2020

    Lol every time an items pops up about the international airport DNO will give a brief history of how many times this has been mentioned in the past, the specific years and at specific events :lol: :lol:

    • Josephine Baptiste
      March 5, 2020

      This man is the worse leader in the history of Caribbean leaders.
      Listening to his pathetic news conference was an embarrassment, and we should ALL feel embarrassed that this man is a prime minister and that he was voted in AGAIN.
      As a Dominican, I feel so ashamed that this “doctor doctor” is representing our small island in this awful pandemic. I hope this throws him out and get somebody who can do the job well.

    • Channel 1
      March 5, 2020

      @Da Girl – These are the sort of recaps a reputable news agency ought to do and MUST do especially when this man called Skerrit speaks.

      I commend DNO for their recaps of Skerrit’s utterances over the years on the international airport. DNO should also give such recaps on other utterances of Skerrit & members of his incompetent government such as:

      – the direct flight from the US to Dominica that was supposed to have started multiple times already

      – the yet to appear university at the Ross campus in Portsmouth

      DNO, make sure y’all news ‘archiving software’ ALWAYS in a state of ready for recording and easy retrieval of these utterances of Skerrit.

      • Galileo
        March 6, 2020

        I wished they followed up like this with everything and not just on things which make the prime minister and the government look bad.

        • Channel 1
          March 6, 2020

          @Galileo – ‘…. and not just on things which make the government look bad?’ Huh. 8-O

          Sir/madam, the government of Skerrit does not need the assistance of anyone to look bad in the eyes of the public; Skerrit & Co are quite competent in making themselves ‘look bad’ by their own doings.

          So what does this ‘everything’ that you want DNO to ‘follow-up like this’ entail?

          Is DNO telling lies when they chronologically list out the utterances of Skerrit on matters such as the international airport?

          Where are the university investor(s) that Skerrit said were ready to move in on the Ross campus?

        • Me
          March 6, 2020

          I’m sure they report the good things too but unfortunately they are rather rare.

    • Satan is a liar
      March 5, 2020

      But who is Satan’s father nou? Can anyone tell me who is Satan’s father? Some say is this one and that one and this one but nobody seems to know who is his father. But in John 8:44 Jesus gave us a clue:

      “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies John 8:44
      So seems like the Devil is the father of Satan so when he opens his mouth it is to do the job of his father the devil.

  12. jackarie
    March 5, 2020

    eh beh Skerrit saying things…

    • Viewsexpressed
      March 5, 2020

      Skerrit is a big joke. Please ignore this Man. We need this political clown out of our government now. He’s a damn failure, and incompetent.
      Get the hell out of our government Skerrit and take your failed corrupt Labour government out with you now.
      Go away Skerrit, go about your damn business. We have better trusted competent qualified decent people to manage our people and country. Get to hell out Skerrit and take your corrupt Labour government out with you. Outside!

  13. 18/3
    March 5, 2020

    Well thank God Maria will no longer be blamed for the failures of the Skerrit and the DLP. Now he can blame all of his lies, all his deceptions and failures on Coronavirus. I for sure never expected international airport but now he has another reason to postpone another political lie and gimmick until next election in 2025, if he survives coronavirus

  14. PRO
    March 5, 2020

    I glad allue putting the time line of how many years that goat batting his gums !

    • Satan is a liar
      March 5, 2020

      But who is Satan’s father nou? Can anyone tell me who is Satan’s father? Some say is this one and that one and this one but nobody seems to know who is his father. But in John 8:44 Jesus gave us a clue:

      “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies John 8:44
      So seems like the Devil is the father of Satan so when he opens his mouth it is to do the job of his father the devil.

  15. LifeandDeath
    March 5, 2020

    hahahahahaha..Poor Skerrit..the burden ain’t getting any lighter. It takes a real *Arse* kondi Peter St.Jean. Carry DA brother..Only you can do (or NOT) it Skewo!!

    Whether genuine reasons or just pure lies, Dominicans can’t tell the difference anymore..Poor my ppl!!.

  16. Waiting For Airport
    March 5, 2020

    Alas, more excuses again. Best we just give up on that.


  17. Truth Be Told
    March 5, 2020

    “Our concern is about the health and wellness of our global heads,” he indicated. What on earth does this man mean by that? Not to mention those different lies and versions of the same lie as to what, who, when, where, why this international airport would progress! Liar liar pants on fire!

  18. weh
    March 5, 2020

    The PM said previously that he is setting aside 5 million a month from passport sales, towards the construction of the airport. The PM is now saying that China will be funding the construction of the airport. If China will be funding the construction of the airport, than what is happening with the 5 million a month he is supposedly setting aside?

  19. Montigue Harris
    March 5, 2020

    Skerrit, how very convenient. Let me tell you something, none of these projects were in the pipeline anyway. It’s all pie in the sky and now you thought the virus might actually be a good excuse for ‘further delay’. Sir, you are a Scharlatan!

  20. yah
    March 5, 2020

    what’s the deal about. sensitize the public. what is being exchange for the international airport.

  21. Channel 1
    March 5, 2020

    Here’s the Word for the rest of the Week y’all:

    Con Artist – a person who cheats or tricks others by persuading them to believe something that is not true.

    • My mouth
      March 6, 2020

      So he not going china again..he can still go and stay over there too

  22. Rac
    March 5, 2020

    Mr. Occupier of the PM’s office Roosevelt Skerrit can you please step aside and let the medical experts and professional deal with this deadly virus. Sir you are in the way and you can use politics to solve this—- please do us and your self a favour.

    I heard the news conference yesterday and certainly you showed your incompetence.

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