Political leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) Allen Chastanet has said the matter involving a former Nigerian minister who is being investigated for alleged corruption, should provide Saint Lucia with food for thought concerning its Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).
Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former oil minister of Nigeria is currently under investigation in Britain for alleged corruption while in office. It was recently discovered that she had secretly acquired citizenship of Dominica in May this year, and granted a diplomatic passport which expires on May 20, 2020.
Chastanet has written several local organisations, expressing concern about Saint Lucia’s CIP and has recommended that these organisations join the opposition in demanding changes to it.
The UWP leader is hoping that the board is reconstituted and that the Chairman, Ernest Hilaire, is asked to resign. If the CIP is to continue, Chastanet said he would would to see a more transparent system enforced.
Chastanet has also raised concerns about the appointment of Dr. Walid Juffali as St. Lucia’s representative to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and said the attention this issue has gained could affect the CIP.
“It is critical that this programme, already viewed by many as ill-conceived and not properly fleshed out, be run independently, cleanly and transparently as the avenues for abuse is numerous. It must also be apolitical to survive international scrutiny,” Chastanet had stated in his letter.
Since the issuance of this letter, the government and the ruling Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) have both criticised Chastanet for taking such steps. The SLP accused Chastanet of placing his personal ambitions above national interest, while Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony called it an act of desperation.