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Bannister: I’m not speaking to The Guardian

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said yesterday that he will no longer speak to The Nassau Guardian because it is “a political instrument”.

The Nassau Guardian reached out to the minister about the ongoing load shedding across New Providence.

When asked when Bahamians can expect load shedding to end, Bannister replied, “The Guardian has become a political instrument.

“I just don’t really need to talk to The Guardian.

“Now, you can tell that to your superiors. I’m sure they’ll get a nice headline out of it, as they usually do, but there’s no use talking with an organization that has a political bias.”

He told this reporter that he was not referring to “your journalistic integrity because I have respect for you”.

But he claimed the paper has an agenda.

He is not the first Cabinet minister to make such a claim and threaten to stop speaking to reporters from this paper.

For nearly two months, communities on New Providence have been rocked with hours-long periods of blackouts as part of Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) load shedding exercise.

Over the weekend, BPL conducted nearly four-hour-long load shedding exercises.

While noting that he was suffering from the recent power cuts, Bannister told The Nassau Guardian over the weekend that the situation being faced by BPL is “not a matter of crisis” despite constant load shedding.

On Tuesday, in a statement, BPL Director of Public Relations Quincy Parker said the company is investigating the causes of the outages.

“…We can confirm that three of our major generation assets were out of service, which exacerbated the challenges we are facing during the summer months,” Parker said.

“The failure of these assets extended the periods of load shedding which we were forced to undertake.”

In March, BPL announced that Finnish technology group Wartsila will install a new 132-megawatt engine power plant at Clifton at a cost of $95 million to increase the generation capacity on New Providence.

BPL Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey has indicated that while the installation of rental generation will provide some relief from the outages, load shedding could be possible until the installation of that new plant is complete.

BPL Chief Executive Officer Whitney Heastie is expected to hold a press conference on Sunday to address the recent challenges at the power company.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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