Some thoughts to consider

Dear Editor,

Grace, peace and blessings be upon you from the eternal God. Be patient with me and allow me to express my views on certain matters, “ little of each”.

Let me be the first to admit that I know very little about the machinery of government, how it works and how they derive at certain decisions.

In the arena of foreign investments’, must we give them so many concessions?

Are we not taking huge losses in these investments? Are we guarding our heritage that Almighty God endowed to us sufficiently?

Are we tapping into the creativity of the Bahamian people and assisting them to be proprietors in large, meaningful projects to share in the large portion in the Bahamian dream?

If you give away such vast amounts, you cannot retrieve it. It is lost to you forever.

How can we say that The Bahamas is ours as Bahamians if outsiders own more of it than us? Shouldn’t Bahamians have a grander portion, not minute servings?

I feel that the foreign investor has done his feasibility study, established that he’s going to make money, so why give so many concessions?

Again, my limited knowledge says that the investor should pay for having the opportunity to invest in The Bahamas. 

In the case e.g. hotels, I feel that the government from the beginning should demand “x” amount to be placed in escrow for the workers in case the investment goes array (as we saw what happened to the hotel workers during the COVID-19 pandemic).

Another “lil piece” is hurricane preparedness.

In strategic locations around The Bahamas, build several two or three-storied structures to house hundreds of people.

The building should be designed in such a way where it can be used for other purposes.

It should be rented out to derive income for upkeep, maintenance, etc. The building should be manned year-round (by defense force) NEMA and other governmental agencies.

It should be equipped with things to aid in emergency rescue – communication systems, dump trucks, tractors, jet-skis and flotation devices. Let us be proactive not reactive.

Another thing that I thought about: around the entire island of New Providence for the most part, there are fruit trees (a safe distance from the edge of the road, mangoes, avocados, bananas, coconuts, dillies, sugar apples, breadfruit, sea grapes, plantain, soursops, plum trees etc.

I believe we will cut down on the hunger of our people (Bahamians we have to cooperate; the fruits are for everyone.)

Let us examine agriculture.

We need to open more canneries to preserve the produce – the melons, the bananas, the tomatoes, the limes, the pineapples. This will aid us in exports and generate more revenue.

Boost the animal husbandry sector, raise more cows, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and other livestock for meat consumption. It would be fresh meats instead of imported meats from far away which may have been in the warehouse for a long period of time.

A “lil piece” more still; what can we do with some of the junk around here? The old cars, the tires, the conch shells?

What if we melt the conch shells in kilns, think of some adhesive to add to it to make building blocks and cement?

In the case of the old tires, can we stabilize them into chain link fencing to be used as artificial barrier reefs and coastal barriers during hurricanes – properly anchor them, again using the chain link or some other mesh material?

As for the derelict vehicles, again melt the metal in a kilns and reuse it to make different materials.

Please forgive me if it seems as though I swallowed a transistor radio, talking from one thing to the next.

I thought about it that we should bring antidotes for venomous snakes, rattlers, cobras, adders, black mambas because I feel that these snakes can enter The Bahamas through imported trees and plants or some irresponsible person bringing them here and then somehow escape (we pray that never happens). It is best to be prepared in a modern ever-changing Bahamas.

Another thing that concerns me is, which agency is policing the banks, insurance companies, real estate companies, gas companies, food supply companies, the building supply companies and vehicle companies?

It seems as though Bahamians are always, always getting the short end of the stick with these exorbitant prices.

What policy is in place to protect Bahamians (in the case of the banks especially) when you have been paying your mortgage for many years, but you encounter some negative situation – sickness, joblessness, accidents – where you are unable to pay the mortgage for an extended period of time; what equity do you have in the house if the bank has to foreclose on your investment?

Would you walk away with “duck egg” after some 15 or 20 years of payments?

What mechanism is in place to shield you from such devastating loss? Something needs to be done ASAP.

Bahamas let us keep on praying for God’s intervention and help.

God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. 

Yours truly,

F. Bethel

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