Govt. stumbles on West End, OBB issue

The Present Free National Movement Government continues to stumble with major national issues. At the same time, this central administration headed by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis continues to be out of step when it comes to interacting with investors.

It has become quite clear, especially, insofar as Grand Bahama is concerned, that it’s just one debacle after the other as the government stumbles in dealing with island investors and those it is engaged with, in ongoing talks.

We refer in the first instance, to the Grand Lucayan fiasco which appears to have a noose around the government’s neck.

Secondly, the Oban Energies’ oil refinery and storage investment is in limbo.

Then, there is the developing indisposition regarding the investors of Old Bahama Bay (Island Venture Resort and Club Limited or IVRC) and Grand Palm Beach/Skyline Investments. (See Freeport News lead Story today).

The government needs to get a grip on this situation very quickly. The set of circumstances surrounding the proposed investment of Grand Palm Beach Acquisitions (through Skyline Investments) and the encroachment concerns of old Bahama Bay Resort and Yacht Club and its parent company Island Venture Resort Club Limited, are alarming to say the least.

It has gotten to the point, seemingly, of no more tolerance on the part of IVRC/Old Bahama Bay owners, according to its spokesman President John MacDonald. For several months now, with the Government of The Bahamas engaged in talks with Skyline regarding the renovating of the old Ginn Sur Mer project in West End, it has looked as though Old Bahama Bay has been left out of the loop, despite the one vibrant entity operating in the West End sector in question, for many years.

We understand that MacDonald sought to speak with the government about the highly questionable situation, but to no avail. Apparently, MacDonald reached out to Senator Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State in the Grand Bahama Office of the Prime Minister, as well as Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe.

There is obvious conflict between the Skyline/Grand Palm Beach group and the Old Bahama Bay investors who are represented by MacDonald.

It was an act of desperation, admittedly, when the government opted to become the purchaser of the Grand Lucayan properties. Now it is out on a limb again with another proposed investment. Throughout the campaign leading up to the general elections of 2017, and following victory at the polls by the Free National Movement, the now Prime Minister Dr. Minnis preached about a revitalization of Grand Bahama through investments and new economic means. Thus far, one year and four months into the present term of governance, Dr. Minnis has not been able to make good on his promise.

The economy of Grand Bahama continues to be stagnant.

Thus, the government is under immense pressure to come through with something meaningful in the way of investments than can bring about an economic resurgence in Grand Bahama. The West End project is not going right.

We call on the government to appropriately address the West End situation before it gets out of hand.

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