With thousands of job losses on New Providence, Grand Bahama, Bimini, Abaco, Exuma and other parts of The Bahamas, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic’s debilitating impact on the domestic and global economy, the announcement of the Minnis administration signing a $400 million heads of agreement for the Jack’s Bay Resort and Marina development in South Eleuthera comes as good news, in an otherwise somber environment. The success of Jack’s Bay would entice many Eleutherans living on New Providence to return home. According to The Nassau Guardian and The Tribune, this massive project is being chaired by Sir Franklyn Wilson. I think this is the biggest tourist development to ever be spearheaded by a Bahamian. Bahamian investors typically piggyback off of foreign investments, such as Baha Mar, Atlantis on Paradise Island and Sandals resort. Wilson is a trailblazer in the way Bahamians invest in our most important industry.
We have often heard the complaint of the tourism industry being mostly owned by foreign entities. That Wilson would undertake such a massive development while the tourism industry is at rock bottom underscores his loyalty to the Bahamian people, something a foreign investor wouldn’t necessarily have done. The revelation that Wilson retained 100 Bahamians on the development during the lockdown demonstrates his altruism for working-class families in this country. Wilson’s other investments, such as Sun Oil Limited and Arawak Homes, have also positively impacted thousands of Bahamians. Only a disingenuous detractor would deny Wilson’s massive role in the development of The Bahamas. Truth be told, Wilson’s importance to the Bahamian economy cannot be overstated. Bahamian investors such as Wilson must be applauded for putting their hard-earned money where their mouth is.
I am hopeful that the Free National Movement administration, as well as the entire Bahamas, will rally around Sir Franklyn and his South Eleuthera project, as thousands of Bahamians stand to benefit directly and indirectly.
– Kevin Evans