Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin yesterday criticized Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis over the lack of details surrounding an agreement the government signed with Global Ports Holding for the redevelopment of the Nassau cruise port.
The contract for the $250 million project was signed yesterday at Festival Place.
“It is a glaring deficiency that in that exercise the prime minister failed to disclose the terms of the heads of agreement as it relates to the benefits derived by Global Port Holdings Ltd. in the operational control of Prince George Dock, one of the busiest cruise port facilities in the world,” Hanna-Martin said in a statement.
“Instead the prime minister sought to mesmerize or dazzle the Bahamian people with rolling off citations of a million dollars here and a million dollars there which he says will go to various entities on behalf of the Bahamian people. What he either overlooked or deliberately omitted were the critical specifics of the deal: this is a gross oversight and is completely unacceptable.”
The port is expected to be completed in 2022, and has been touted as the beginning of the redevelopment of Downtown Nassau.
The port will be owned in majority by Bahamians, with 49 percent of the shares being offered to the Bahamian public and two percent held by the YES (youth, education and sports) Foundation. Additionally, Global Ports Holding said that Bahamian employees will make up 100 percent of the port’s workforce after the first two years.
“We further heard a reference to a Bahamian involvement in partnership with Global Port Holdings Ltd. and if this is not a reference to the proposed share offering to the public then the question immediately arises who are the Bahamian participants in this deal and why was this not disclosed,” Hanna-Martin said.
“All in all this is yet another example of relinquishing Bahamian assets, whether by long lease or otherwise to foreigners and the further marginalization of the Bahamian people.
“The control of our most strategic international port should not have been handed to foreigners.”