Monday, Nov 12, 2018
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Govt must stay disciplined and on message

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis during a nationally televised address.

At the end of 2017, the government announced the deal for the sale of the Grand Lucayan properties in Freeport. That was good news. Grand Bahama’s economy has been in a bad way for a decade. The Lucayan strip reopening is expected to create nearly 1,000 jobs.

In a national address last month, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced further investments. He said there is a $2.5 billion, 10-year deal to purchase and develop the former Ginn Sur Mer property at West End, Grand Bahama.

An application to approve the purchase and development was before the National Economic Council. The Ginn property went into bankruptcy in 2008 and never reached its potential.

Minnis also talked about new jobs as a result of investment at the East Grand Bahama oil refinery, and that there would be additional cruise arrivals to the island.

Here in New Providence, it was later announced that Sterling Global Financial purchased Hurricane Hole Marina on Paradise Island and plans to invest $250 million to construct a world-class development comprised of mixed-use residential, office space, a financial center, retail and dining facilities, and a revamped marina.

In Harbour Island a $55 million expansion of the Harbour Island Club & Marina is expected to break ground in the coming months and will account for an estimated 220 jobs from construction to completion.

Baha Mar is expected to employ 5,000 people by the end of the year. The Pointe is rising out of the ground in the City of Nassau. It is likely to be the catalyst that sparks growth downtown.

These are not the only investments happening. But we think we have made the point. Things are looking up for The Bahamas after a difficult decade. The governing Free National Movement (FNM) needs to stick to the script and focus on the growth that is in process. Jobs are being created and opportunity is returning to our islands.

What we witnessed in the House of Assembly last week was a disgrace led by amateurs. Speaker Halson Moultrie and Miriam Emmanuel stole the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The speaker went on a petty, xenophobic and homophobic tirade. Emmanuel appeared to be from the Dark Ages suggesting it is okay to rough up women.

Veteran FNMs such as Dion Foulkes, Brent Symonette, Carl Bethel, Desmond Bannister and Kwasi Thompson, along with smart newcomers such as Jeffrey Lloyd and Marvin Dames, are doing well when it comes to public relations. They speak in measured tones and say sensible things. They are capable of dealing with controversy and know when not to speak. There are some FNMs, however, who cause this government problems too frequently because when they open their mouths stupidity flows out. When there is no problem, they create one. They are doing a better job at damaging the governing party than the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).

The FNM needs to learn message discipline. It needs to bring under control the meager minds in the caucus. If you have nothing sensible to say, then shut up. You should answer the people’s questions, of course, but do so factually and with limited words if speaking is a difficulty to you.

The PLP is in no shape to govern. Our country was nearly destroyed by its incapacity and avarice. The FNM has a responsibility to govern well so that Bahamians are not lured back to the PLP’s destructive ways.

The PLP craves power. It will stay on the attack. It’s good at that. It’s up to the party the people elected to stay on the “pro-growth message” and not allow the least of its members to bring the government down.





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