The Bahamas’ economy will bounce back from the downside effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, so long as things are properly put in place by the government and Bahamians prepare themselves, Chief Financial Officer of Fidelity Group Gowon Bowe said on Friday.
Bowe said Bahamians have a personal responsibility – while the country is in a state of lockdown – to be frugal and prepare for a protracted slowdown in the economy.
“You’re going to be contained for a certain period of time – you don’t eat everything that you stock up,” he said.
“You need to be thinking, ‘how is it that I normally eat?’ and my eating patterns may adjust.
“So where I used to have gourmet meals, it might be tuna and grits for a while and there’s no problem in doing that because it’s more about sustenance.”
Bowe said, economically, Bahamians will have to appreciate the interventions that need to be made by the government to protect the most vulnerable and keep the country afloat.
“We have to start looking at and appreciate the interventions that are going to be necessary in terms of the economic fallout,” he said.
“It has to be methodical. How do I put money into the economy? What do I do on the revenue front if there is a slowdown in spending?”
Bowe said the government will likely have to borrow in order to ensure the health of the country’s coffers, though the government has said it would not borrow – at least not this fiscal year.
Despite the doom and gloom as a result of the rapid spread of COVID-19, Bowe contended we will get through the tough times.
“We went through 9/11,” he said. “Did you expect planes flying into a tower to shut down travel? No. Did we emerge from it? Yes.
“Did we expect the giant banks to collapse and people’s incomes to take such a big hit in 2008? No. Did we emerge from it? Yes.
“Were they difficult times? Yes. We have to remember it’s always darkest before the dawn.”