The power of priorities
As I considered the power issues being experienced in The Bahamas, I was reminded of the importance of priorities. One has to ask the question why? Why are we still dealing with the issues we are dealing with? These issues are not new and they should have been made a priority years ago. I am not targeting the current administration, but simply asking what happened to our national priorities. The fact of the matter is that if we fail to prioritize, we suffer individually and collectively. Failure to recognize priorities and address priorities inevitably result in suffering.
For a long time we knew that our power costs were much higher than they should have been and that we needed to change our generation system. We recognized years ago that we needed to move towards solar power and other forms of green energy as the rest of the world was doing. If we knew this, why wasn’t the decision made and executed sooner? There has been much talk about it and there has been agreement across administrations that it was a priority, but if it was such a high priority, why are we still in the position we are in today?
I believe it comes down to priorities. Sometimes in life we forget to or fail to focus on the critical things that will dramatically change our lives for the better. According to most studies I have seen and public information disseminated, we are currently paying more than 30 cents per kilowatt hour. Conversion to more efficient fuels will reduce our bill to somewhere between 6 and 10 cents per kilowatt hour. This would mean the cost of power generation will go down significantly, which also means the cost of doing business would go down significantly. Our hotels would become cheaper as a result. A reduction in the cost of doing business would make The Bahamas more attractive for doing business and our labor costs would also be favorably impacted.
If we knew this then, why are we still years away from solving the obvious problem? Some say successive governments have been negligent, others say corruption is the problem. Some say business oligarchs with controlling interests in the oil business have prevented it and others say it’s just business in the third world. I say it’s a matter of priorities. As a country no matter what the problem is, this issue should be the single most important issue in the country for the governing party, the opposition, the business community and the citizenry.
My understanding is that everything is moving in the right direction, some contracts have been signed, there has been mobilization and progress is being made. At the same time, it appears that the progress might be impeded by internal and external issues.
Jesus often talked about priorities. He talked of counting the costs of putting important things first and I believe as a country we must refocus on solving this issue. Hopefully, the recent issues we have experienced and the past issues of load shedding and exorbitant bills with excessive surcharges will be a thing of the past. I, like many other Bahamians, am saying what Nike has said in its promotions “just do it”. If we prioritize power, we will benefit from the power of priorities.
• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange.