PM says he was ‘gathering the facts’ on BPL

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said yesterday that he took two months to address the ongoing generation issues at Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) because he was “gathering the facts on the situation”.

Following a tour of the University of The Bahamas, The Nassau Guardian asked Minnis why he took so long to comment on the now months-long load shedding exercise that is rocking New Providence.

He replied, “You are a very intelligent girl and you know and I know, you speak when you get the facts.

“You analyze, you accumulate [and] you get all the necessary data. When you have those facts, and you’re comfortable with the facts, then you would speak out.

“You do not speak prematurely because when you do that, then you have to retract. And you would be the first one all over me, ‘Minnis retracted’.”

Since early June, residents and businesses across New Providence have faced power outages on a daily basis due to load shedding exercises at BPL.

According to BPL CEO Whitney Heastie, there is a 40-megawatt generation shortage on the island.

For weeks, Minnis faced criticism from the opposition and the public over his silence on the issue.

Meanwhile, BPL executives and Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister have insisted that the situation is not a crisis.

Bannister has since pledged not to speak to The Nassau Guardian because he views it as “a political instrument”.

Minnis addressed the public on the issues at BPL for the first time last week.

On Sunday, Minnis called the situation a “crisis”, although he clarified yesterday that it is not an energy crisis, but rather a crisis for the people forced to deal with the outages.

Asked whether he believed that any other government officials spoke prematurely on the matter, Minnis said, “No, they would have spoken about what information they had, but as prime minister, I must speak from a global phenomenon (sic).

“I must understand everything, not in isolation. I must take them all and put it together.”

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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