DPM: SOEs should pay for themselves within 5 years

Some state-owned enterprises (SOE) will hopefully transition to a cost recovery status within the next five years, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said yesterday.

“In respect to all state-owned enterprises, we have commissioned a study, consultancy with one of the large accountant firms that has been completed,” Turnquest said while on “The Revolution with Juan McCartney” on Guardian Radio 96.9.

“We have those reports now that make recommendations as to how we might be able to bring these corporations to a cost recovery position. Not to make a profit. That’s not the idea because they are state-owned assets.”

He said the government wants to ensure that those organizations can “pay for themselves”.

Turnquest said the government believes it has “a tangible opportunity to make a shift” at Bahamasair, an airline company owned by the government. 

“I’ve seen, I don’t know if it was published publicly or it was just something I read internally, but they have adopted or they will adopt some of the recommendations that were made in that report,” he said.

“And, so, we’ll see some improvement in respect to the financial results in that organization. They, like all of the others, have been saddled with significant debts.

“And, if I may say so, some decisions that may have not been in the best interest of the organization, may be in the best interest of the country.”

He said such decisions have saddled various organizations with “legacy issues that continue to plague us today”.

Turnquest said it is likely those issues will exist in the future as a result of a lack of funding. 

“But, hopefully, through some of the reforms that have been suggested and some that have been accepted [and] some that we’re still working on some of these organizations to accept, we will be able to get to that cost recovery status in the next five years,” the deputy prime minister said.

“That’s our objective.”

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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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