The National Sports Authority (NSA) is the brainchild of the Free National Movement. The National Sports Authority Act 2011 evolved out of the third non-consecutive term of governance under Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.
It was intended that the NSA would hire its own management team, monitor, manage and market the sporting facilities owned by the Government of The Bahamas. The Minister of Sports is legislated to be the very conscience of the NSA and to be the deciding factor on any issues that can’t be settled by the NSA.
The minister is authorized also to discipline or dismiss board members and make strong decisions regarding NSA executives.
The NSA since 2011 has been funded in the amount of many millions of dollars and its core responsibility, the sporting facilities have not, in our view, been properly attended to. Indeed, a lot of money from taxpayers have flowed through the NSA with little national benefits.
Today, we call upon the Government of The Bahamas to re-examine the NSA, from top to bottom. We feel it’s the duty of the government to go beyond an investigation, as called for by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.
The NSA is a government vehicle which utilizes hundreds of thousands of dollars annually at a time when many Bahamian communities are feeling economic woes. It is therefore essential that our government looks into the NSA. The Government of the Bahamas, through different administrations has sought to provide proper development and competition facilities for members of the sporting fraternity across the archipelago.
Sadly, in many cases, the facilities have been allowed to become derelict. They have gone un-attended to. There has been little or no upkeep. A priority placed on the NSA was the appropriate upkeep of sporting facilities. The NSA has moved along a different path, a route that has not allowed for monitoring, maintaining and properly managing government sporting facilities in the land.
Definitely, a re-examination of the NSA is in order. We submit that the situation is serious enough for the prime minister to appoint a Cabinet Committee to get an overview of the NSA and to report findings. The result should be the government insisting that those appointed to the NSA Board of Directors, and others brought on in management capacities, function according to mandates.
All and sundry involved in the NSA should come under full scrutiny. There is no intent to suggest here that NSA board members or executives are guilty of malfeasance. The investigation that the prime minister has requested will determine the true facts, hopefully.
What we know though, is that the NSA has not been operating appropriately.
A re-examination is necessary.