“The Carnival Port Development of East Grand Bahama is going full speed ahead.”
It was like the victory lap he and his executive branch colleagues took when the Royal Caribbean/ITM Group signed a letter of intent (LOI) to purchase the government-owned Grand Lucayan Resort, some five months ago.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis jumped and gyrated to the music which accompanied his address during the Free National Movement Torch Bearers Youth Association Convention last Friday in New Providence. He claimed to be leading the delivery of a long-made campaign-trail promise to revitalize the economy of Grand Bahama.
Well actually, Dr. Minnis has become quite good at hyping political lines to keep supporters and others hopeful. The truth is that the Dr. Minnis-led government is far behind on the revitalization promise. The proposed Oban Energies oil refinery/storage project has long appeared dead in the water.
We understand the negotiations with Royal Caribbean/ITM are stalled, with no heads of agreement (HOA) in sight. The GIBC Digital Bahamas concern did not pan out as expected. The Grand Bahama Shipyard has had to be much more prudent since the incident, in April past, when cranes collapsed on the Oasis of the Seas.
So, the picture is not anywhere as rosy as Dr. Minnis painted Friday last.
However, it makes no sense to frown at, even one good sign.
“Grand Bahama, Grand Bahama! Tonight, we have great news to report. I am pleased to announce that after many months of negotiations, we have delivered a deal for Grand Bahama. Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to confirm that the government has delivered a massive project for the people of Grand Bahama. This evening, I am pleased to inform residents of Grand Bahama and the entire Bahamas that the Carnival Port Development is going full speed ahead,” said the pumped up chief executive.
The political hype is heavy in the above, much more so than the substance.
How many Grand Bahamians, or other Bahamians will go directly to work?
What is the time table regarding scores of people being employed?
What about immediate spillover operations?
We have been told by a source that thus far, about five persons related to Carnival, have been seeking to make housing arrangements. Indeed, the announcement by Dr. Minnis was a positive sign.
How long will it be though, before a meaningful number of Grand Bahamians become associated in a salaried manner with the proposed development port, to be located at Sharp Rock Point in East Grand Bahama.