Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes, the point person for the Government of The Bahamas on the committee appointed by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to renegotiate the Heads of Agreement (HOA) with Oban Energies, has reportedly made a stunning statement regarding background checks of investors.
This is what he was reported to have said in reference to the recent hierarchy adjustment within Oban Energies, the proposed oil refinery/storage plant investment company:
“Whenever there is a change in leadership in a company, the government would do background checks on the new leadership, and we were in the process of doing that since the announcement was made, which is what we do on all potential investments in the country.”
Well, it certainly seems as though a comprehensive background check in the initial stage of the association with Oban Energies did not happen. One could argue that the government is in a bind with Oban Energies now, precisely because of a slack background check at the outset of the relationship.
Perhaps this statement is the best way the government can counter the brash entrance, as the chief spokesman for Oban, new President Alexander Grikitis has made. By emphasizing Oban’s forward movements regarding the highly-talked about project slated for East Grand Bahama, Grikitis has pushed the government back on its heels.
Foulkes could be merely posturing, in an attempt to give the Bahamian People, the impression, that the government is playing tough. What would be of tremendous interest to the Bahamian people, Grand Bahamians in particular, is for the government to explain how it is going to get out of certain ridiculous conditions agreed to in the HOA with Oban.
Again, as is becoming customary for this government, Foulkes was long on what is hoped for, but did not come close to verifying anything substantive. He reportedly informed that the government will now submit proposed amendments to the HOA.
Well, goodness, wasn’t this done when the committee first engaged Oban, in requesting an adjusted HOA?
If not, then why?
Why, just now, are requested amendments being given to Oban?
The government continues to make missteps directly related to Oban. The entire situation with Oban has been handled shabbily.
Actually, in only now seeking to take part in structuring an HOA to the liking of the Bahamian People, the government is clearly guilty of having put the cart before the horse.
We submit that the due diligence being attempted now by the government should have been the course of action at the outset, in dealing with Oban Energies.