The P3 Group, Inc. which offered the Minnis administration an almost $1 billion loan during government’s UNDP-sponsored Hurricane Dorian pledging conference was also a title sponsor of the event, The Nassau Guardian can confirm.
While the group’s level of sponsorship was unclear yesterday, Disaster Reconstruction Authority Chairman John Michael Clarke downplayed its involvement.
“[The conference] was a joint effort between the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and the government, and they had sponsorship packages that go all the way from one to platinum. And each one of those sponsorships, depending on what the level is, had a different – you get different things, including being named in the vote of thanks and you know how it works,” Clarke said.
“So, it isn’t like the pledge thing was being named after them; it’s just that their name would be called as a significant contributor. And it was called.”
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, The P3 Group, Inc. CEO Dee Brown said the group was “proud” of its involvement.
“It’s a proud moment for us. We were proud to be a title sponsor of the event and I hope that the dollars we’ve spent on that would go towards, I’m sure, very worthy causes,” Brown said.
“And then it was even a prouder moment to be able to stand before the prime minister and, you know, the United Nations Development Programme as well as the other Cabinet officials and really express our sincere support and desire to help move the country forward and past this disaster. And I think that ultimately, working collaboratively with the government, we’ll be able to deliver some bold solutions for the country.”
It was recently revealed that of the $1.5 billion in pledges that were received during the event, $975 million constituted the loan offered by The P3 Group, which is a U.S.-based company that specializes in public-private partnerships, according to its website.
The group also has a Bahamian version of its website – under P3 Group Bahamas, LTD – which appears to have been copyrighted just last year.
Clarke stressed that the Disaster Reconstruction Authority does its due diligence in ensuring that foreign companies are credible.
“Now I want you to bear in mind too that that’s a U.S.-based company, and we rely heavily on the United States Embassy to assist us with vetting those people that make certain announcements,” Clarke said.
“Any time we get anything from anywhere, because of the sensitivities of these things, we try to do a certain level of due diligence.”
Disaster Recovery Authority Managing Director Katherine Forbes-Smith said on Tuesday no decision has yet been made as to whether any portion of the loan offer would be accepted.
She also said that by the end of this week a complete breakdown of all of the pledges received will be posted publicly “so people could see what this $1.5 billion looks like”.