By Neto Baptiste
A total of US $326,885.50 of the US $14,021,046.31 generated by the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) for the first half of 2019 was allocated to sports.
This is according to the figures publicised by the Citizenship by Investment Unit’s (CIU) operating account disbursements which indicate that the lion’s share of the US $326,885.50 spent on sports went to Cricket West Indies on 13th February, 2019, in the amount of US $250,000.
Although the document identified the payout as “payment to Cricket West Indies”, it did not specify what the payment was for.
The second largest payout for sports, US $47,433.40 was made to USC Spirit, a US-based track & field equipment company, for the “purchasing of equipment for YASCO Sports Complex”.
There was, according to the document, a payout of US $5,000 in March, 2019 to the Ministry of Sports for “medical treatment” while there were six individual payouts, each for US $4,075.35 to the said ministry under the banner of “financial assistance in the USA”.
The total amount paid out to sports-related activities from the stipulated period of 1st January to 30th June, 2019, accounts for just 2.33 percent of the total spent for the same period.
In a previous report, it was stated that almost half of the disbursements (42.79 percent) made from the CIP in the first six months of 2019 was used to settle monthly pension payments.
The document also disclosed that 10 percent of the US $14,021,046.31 transferred from the CIP account was used to finance the development of educational institutions across the island.
Additionally, US $540,000 went toward improving the broadband service for educational institutions; US $432,000 was used to develop the broadband Internet access for the University of the West Indies (UWI) Five Islands Campus; and US $421,200 funded the purchase of IP network links for the UWI campus. Improvements to the legislative dynamics of the twin island can also be credited to CIP funds. This includes the legalisation of marijuana of which US $23,760 was transferred.