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Bannister debunks claim govt seeking to exclude many contractors from being licensed

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister issued a press release yesterday debunking claims that the government is proposing a bill that would exclude many contractors from being licensed to work. Those claims were made by former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Member of Parliament V. Alfred Gray, in a voice note that was widely distributed through Whatsapp.

Gray claimed in the voice note that the government is proposing a Contractors Association Bill for Parliament that would guide the Ministry of Public Works’ decision on who can become a licensed contractor in The Bahamas. He also claimed that the government would restrict any contractor who has not built at least a four-story building from being licensed.

Gray said in his voice note: “I have on good information that the ministry of works is putting together who could qualify for contracts and who can’t. And I’m also told that you can only qualify if you have a four-story building under your contractor’s belt, meaning if you are not a Mosko or one of them big brothers, you many not be able to soon qualify as a contractor.”

Bannister called Gray’s allegation “very irresponsible” and explained that his claims are “untrue and entirely without
foundation”.

In his statement, Bannister reminded Gray that the Construction Contractors Act was passed under the PLP administration.

“The restrictions contained in the bill were voted on and passed unanimously by Mr. Gray and his colleagues,” said Bannister. “For those like Mr. Gray who may have conveniently forgotten, or who may have been asleep in Parliament.”

Bannister added that the Free National Movement has had a stellar record when providing for small contractors.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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