Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Chairman Omar Smith decried the recent threats placed in a newspaper advertisement by Compass Point owner Leigh Rodney, calling Rodney’s threatening of 60 jobs “unacceptable”.
“It was disappointing to see a foreign investor lambaste a sitting administration while using the employment of Bahamian workers as a bargaining tool,” Smith said.
“Simply put, it is totally unacceptable for any investor to use Bahamians as pawns to force the government to meet his demands… It is time for Bahamians to own our economy and determine our own destiny. The economic empowerment of our people will go a long way in preventing threats to our jobs and Bahamians being caught in the middle of power tussles.”
Rodney said in his ad: “If the FNM (Free National Movement) wins the next election, without acting upon the promise they made when they were elected two years ago, the Compass Point owner does not want to continue to do business in this country and will, therefore, close his business.”
It added, “For the two years the FNM had been in power, the Compass Point owner has made what he thinks is a simple request. Set up a small group that would be tasked to make a list of recommended changes to existing laws and regulations, include the Compass Point owner as one participant in this group, have as chairman of the group a government person chosen, who if he/she recommended changes, the lawmakers would listen. To date they have not acted upon this reasonable request.”
Smith contended that the government should shift its efforts towards appeasing the cries of Bahamian businesses and entrepreneurs instead of foreigners.
“We believe that the only special interest in The Bahamas should be the Bahamian people and all efforts should be geared towards the economic empowerment of our people,” he said.
“The Bahamian people deserve to know what, if any, favors were given and what promises were made to the investor in question to embolden him to issue a public reprimand to a sitting government.”