The Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Terrance Drew-led administration has remained committed towards the reformation of the Alternative Pathways Lifestyle Programme (APLP) mainly referred to as the “Peace Programme”, with rehabilitation at the center.
While sharing the word during the special interview, PM Drew said there was requirement to bring about the urgent changes to this programme, as the proof has shown significant mismanagement under the former administration.
Dr Drew added that, “The Development Bank was used as a conduit to funnel tens of millions of dollars in a corrupt way using the name of this programme. There is no doubt on that. We did the forensic studies on it. That we have stopped. And so, you saw a particular budget out there and then after that there was this underground, dark budget which was really racketeering in the worst of the ways.”
PM Drew mentioned what has also discovered troubling is that due to the way the programme was earlier managed, school children are now aspiring to be placed on the Peace Programme after completion of school for the sake of just collecting a paycheck.
He stated that, “If you listened to the police press conference and the police some weeks ago on Freedom FM when one of the police officers would have stated that there were young people- children in the primary school- aspiring to be part of the peace programme. And so, we have children out there aspiring not to be whatever they want to become other than just putting me on the programme, and it cannot be like that. We cannot accept that and this is why we have stopped the racketeering.”
Moreover, he has informed that the reformed version of the programme is likely to be launched in the month of July this year with a more and more focus on transparency and rehabilitation.
PM Drew mentioned that, the government of St Kitts and Nevis is going to make it transparent in terms of what people get from being the programme and the government is also working on signing up persons who are working with Social Security so that they can have something for later years. He informed that it is going to be open and transparent and via a proper system of how people are actually compensated.
Dr. Drew continued, “What we actually want to do is to provide people with opportunities on the new programme so that they can make options for their lives just like any other citizen, and that is what we are creating at this particular juncture.”