Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said yesterday that the government will focus on making sure small companies have access to contracts that have previously been monopolized by larger companies, in a bid to create more equitable development in The Bahamas.
Dr. Minnis’ comments on the matter were included in a release from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on Dr. Minnis’ trip to the heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) meeting in St. Lucia last week.
His comments also come amid the backdrop of Bahamas Hot Mix receiving several contracts to conduct water works in the Family Islands over smaller companies, an issue that has been pushed to the forefront of national discussion with the recent resignation of former Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration Brent Symonette last Sunday.
Symonette’s children’s trust owns shares in Bahamas Hot Mix.
The statement said Minnis was responding to a report from the chairman of the CARICOM Commission on the Economy, professor Avinash Persaud, who stressed the need for CARICOM countries to develop more sustainable, resilient, inclusive and equitable development.
The OPM release said the prime minister “agreed that governments must find ways to empower people, by improving access to capital and assets”.
“[The Bahamas] is on the right track when it comes to providing free education at the tertiary level, but we must find a way for smaller companies to access more opportunities to grow their businesses,” the prime minister said.
“A focus of my government, moving forward, will be to ensure that smaller companies have access to contracts that were previously monopolized by larger companies.
“The only way smaller companies can grow is if they are given the opportunity to bid for larger contracts. This is necessary if our people are to advance from poverty, to middle class, to wealth.”
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications