‘Nothing sinister about it’: MP defends donation to unregistered charity

Barbuda MP Arthur Nibbs speaking to reporters

Member of Parliament for Barbuda Arthur Nibbs has defended a donation of building materials he received from the American University of Antigua in the name of charity.

Nibbs told reporters that while his Arthur Nibbs Foundation is in the process of being registered, he saw nothing wrong with accepting the materials reportedly worth EC$ 100,000.

The minister said he is “very surprised that we are making such a big thing out of this.”

The opposition friendly Observer Media Group raised the issue of Nibbs’ soon to be registered charity, suggesting that it should not be accepting donations as yet.

However, the minister said: “the necessary papers are at the Intellectual Property Office with respect to registering the foundation.”

He admitted that the foundation is not “fully registered” but added, “that does not preclude us from going on to do our work because we are set about to look for materials and assistance to help the people rebuild and that is exactly what we are doing.”

“What could be sinister about it,” the MP questioned, stating that the presentation of the materials was transparent.

“There is nothing to hide. It’s a foundation established in my name to look about the interest of the people of Barbuda and that’s all it is,” the minister said.

When fully established, the minister hopes that the foundation will help preserve his legacy of hard work in Barbuda.

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  1. So what is the purpose of the Barbuda Council and NODS? The recovery process has been so slow in Barbuda, is there really a need for another layer of bureaucracy? If the foundation has submitted paperwork for approval, Nibbs should be able to produce the documentation for public verification.
    The goal should be to get these building materials into the hands of Barbudans ASAP. This sounds like a botched scheme to secure election “hand outs.”

  2. If a government official can accept a substantial amount of money (from a large coffer, suggesting another government or private firm) is there a way of at least ensuring transparency, so that any materials promised to the Barbudans make it to the island? A more suspicious person would worry that the government official is accepting money/resources to give to the islanders in an attempt to make them beholden to him or use it as a form of control. Are there any assurances that can be made to the islanders? Can the intentions/directives of this charity be made clear for your international readership?

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