FNM raises concerns over Grand Bahama



Massive mega FNM

Statement by Party:

The Grand Bahama Council of the Free National Movement is very concerned about the state of Grand Bahama’s economy. The Government has failed to bring the leadership and vision required to turn Grand Bahama’s struggling economy around. In fact, the increased taxes, customs fees, and uncertainty about the implementation and effect of the value added tax system has caused more damage to our fragile economy.

The Grand Bahama council of the Free National Movement is troubled by the abrupt resignation of Mr. Ian Fair as chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority ltd (GBPA) and the negative effects of the GBPA not having a chairman in place at this critical time. Although we do not respond to rumors no matter how strong and persistent on who the Christie administration and the shareholders of the Grand Bahama Port Authority ltdhave agreed to reappoint to succeed Mr. Fair, we urge both parties not make a decision which is bad for Freeport, bad for Grand Bahama and bad for the Bahamas and a clear political payback.

Mr. Fair’s resignation is an opportunity for the Government to demonstrate to the people of Grand Bahama and the people of the Bahamas that it is genuinely interested in protecting Bahamian jobs for Bahamians. However, will the Government ensure that a Bahamian is able to achieve what is arguably one of the most important jobs in Grand Bahama or will they say to those qualified Bahamians, you need not apply?

Sadly we believe that the Christie administration will allow an appointment, which fulfills a political promise and payback. However, the legal obligation of the Grand Bahama Port Authority to the Bahamian people cannot be sacrificed on the alter of political payoff which may result in no long-term gain for Freeport.

The long-term interest of the Bahamian people and the financial survival of the economy of Freeport and Grand Bahama must be the underpinning factor of this decision.

The Grand Bahama council of the Free National Movement firmly believes that the replacement chairman should be a qualified Bahamian. This person must not only have the ability attract investment but sustain investment. They must have heart for the people of Freeport and Grand Bahama with a proven record of leadership. This person must come with fresh new vision and must have the confidence of the Freeport business community. Anyone who has a record of past business failures, wrongfully terminated employees without pay, and has a divisive leadership style is not a fit and proper person to be entrusted to chair of a company that has the legal obligation to the Bahamian people to develop, manage and grow the economy of Grand Bahama and the Bahamas.

We therefore recommend that the shareholders of the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the Christie administration use this unique opportunity to recruit someone with a proven record of vision, creativity, international business contacts, ethical and impeccable business acumen and personal integrity to this important executive position.