Roosevelt Skerrit, prime minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica
Roosevelt Skerrit, prime minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica

At a press conference on Wednesday 17 January 2018, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said he welcomed a statement that Leader of the Opposition Lennox Linton published recently.

"Though it's a bit late but nonetheless the Leader of the Opposition has started to be constructive in his engagements and utterances though I recognize in his statements that the still wanted to be political in his expression," PM Skerrit said adding that some of the suggestions Linton made were under consideration especially the recommendation that Government provide concessions to commercial outlets to purchase building materials.

"This is a matter that has been under consideration by the government since late November and it was delayed by the government because it has always been the government's expression that it does not want to compete with the private sector or displace the private sector in any way," he said. "So we are giving the private sector and opportunity to demonstrate it has the capacity to bring in the large volume of building material and roofing material needed in the country to facilitate the expeditious renovations of many of our homes in Dominica."

He added: "Therefore, the government in the first week of January placed an order of about EC$17-million to bring in an extensive consignment of building materials, from screws to galvanize, to assist with the covering and renovation of hundreds of homes across Dominica," Skerrit stated. "We have sent the first payment and the supplier, that is out of Jamaica, has given us a payment schedule. So we're not paying everything up front, he has given us a six months' period to pay them the amount of monies. So the payment is about $5-million that has been sent to a firm in Jamaica".

Skerrit also announced that 900 farmers will receive $10,000 each and 3,032 farmers will receive $3,000 each.

"My hope and prayer is that the farmers will use this money to invest in their farms," Skerrit said.