The road ahead 

Dear Editor,

Within a matter of days, we will celebrate our 49th year as an independent nation — The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

On July 10, 1973, the Union Jack was lowered for the last time in our newly minted nation. I recall the momentous event at Fort Charlotte. Many of those who are about to celebrate would not have been born and, alas, countless others, have passed on to eternity. The Lord, however, has been merciful to us.

While we, as a people and a nation have achieved much, there is still much more that will need to be done as we continue our trek into the Promised Land.

Sir Lynden Pindling, our late founding father, along with his then colleagues in the public arena started the ball rolling. Under his administrations, we evolved from a relatively small fishing village to the mover and shaker that we are rapidly becoming under the new day Davis administration.

Sir Lynden ushered in many of the social, infrastructure and economic advances that we continue to enjoy to this very day. Affordable housing and brand new middle class subdivisions were conceptualized and built under his watch.

Hubert Ingraham, a then PLP chairman and minister within Pindling’s administration, was instrumental in all of this.

Perry Christie did some good. Dr. Hubert Minnis came along, unexpectedly, and tried to do some good but, in my view, he fell dead short of the mark.

The real heavy lifting and final preparations for the inevitable entry into the Promised Land, is the lot of Philip “Brave” Davis.

Since Davis and his party were elected to high office, The Bahamas has never been the same.

One is almost able to see, feel and touch the meaningful and pivotal administrative and political changes being made by the prime minister and his stellar team.

Almost every Bahamian who is able bodied and wants a job is able to find one, albeit it might not be exactly what he/she wants but he/she should be able to put bread on the table. Wannabe entrepreneurs, despite the inherent inability to readily access capital, are able to find opportunities now that the economy is back in business.

The way forward must dictate that the administration will find ways and means to encourage the banking industry to pay realistic rates on savings accounts.

Attention is being paid to the eventual development and implementation of the long awaited National Health Insurance. I have no doubt that Minister of Health Dr. Michael Darville and his qualified team will get it right in short order.

The ravages of Dorian and hurricanes even before her arrival decimated pockets of the national economy and an unknown number of people actually lost their lives. The advent of the lingering pandemic did not help but it has been a teachable experience.

The tourism market is rebounding nicely. Multiple spin off opportunities will come on stream for visionary and hard working Bahamians. I submit that the long forgotten days when one could command two and more jobs, depending on stamina and work ethics, are just across the bar.

Crime and inflation will have to be dealt with going forward. They are both vexing and debilitating to national growth and productivity. There are no quick fixes and the Davis administration would be well advised to not offer quick fixes or pie in the sky solutions.

All stakeholders should be brought onboard in a national forum. Invite everybody, inclusive of opposition forces. If they come, they come but at least invite them. The former prime ministers should also be invited to make presentations.

Where many see insurmountable challenges, I am of the view that Prime Minister Davis sees opportunities to truly take the populace into the long-anticipated Promise Land. The Jews of old took 40 years.

We have been lurching from pillar to post for almost 49 long years. Is it not time that we arise and go across this Jordan?

Congratulations, Bahamas! We are almost there.

Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.

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