It has been reported that the Antigua & Barbuda CBI Programme has approved in excess of 500 citizenships in the past 16 months
19 June 2015
Prompted by questions from the Member of Parliament for Rural West, Antigua & Barbuda learnt, for the first time, that more than 500 passports have been sold after a year and four months of operation of the Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne made the disclosure, yesterday, in Parliament, when he fielded questions from the Leader of the Opposition, in Parliament, Baldwin Spencer.
A Syrian national, became the first person to attain Antigua & Barbuda citizenship.
The prime minister also disclosed that 38 nationalities now carry Antigua & Barbuda passports. He identified them as: China 213, Lebanon 58, Iran 33, Russia 25, Egypt 21, Syria 18, Pakistan 14, UK 14, Nigeria 11, Saudi Arabia 9, Italy 7, Canada 7, Kuwait 6, Algeria 6, Iraq 6, Yemen 6, Palestine 5, India 5, Libya 4, Indonesia 4, Vietnam 4, Jordan 3, France 3, Dubai 3, Togo 3, Bangladesh 2, Afghanistan 2, Venezuela 2, Istanbul 2, Ukraine 1, Singapore 1, Uzbekistan 1, Guatemala 1, Austria 1, USA 1, and Thailand 1, among others.
The prime minister also outlined the number of passports sold under the various categories and the sums accrued from each category.
Of the 510 passports issued to successful applicants, the funds obtained for 416 of them were placed in the National Development Fund.
Monies obtained for 89 passports were related to the Real Estate Option while five passports were sold under the Business Investment Option.
According to the prime minister, Real Estate under the CIP umbrella netted US$52.5 or EC$142 million, while the Business Investment Option yielded US$7.2 million or EC$19.4 million.
In summary, the prime minister said since its inception, the CIP Unit has garnered $65.9 million.
In 2013, the CIP unit collected $390,000; in 2014 $32.3 million; and in 2015 $33.1 million.
Spencer said it was the failure on the part of the Labour Party administration to present a report that prompted the questions which Browne answered.
“It should not take my having to pose questions to the honourable prime minister to receive information in relation to the questions posed, because the very Act, under the CIP Act, calls for a full report tabled in Parliament every six months and the Labour Party has been in office little over a year, ”Spencer declared.
Spencer acknowledged there was some important information shared with the public, But he said there were some answers that were not as adequate as he would have liked and that he is looking forward to a full proper report coming from the government.