Categorized | National News


Democratic National Alliance Spokesperson for Transport & Aviation Buscheme Armbrister  expressed concerns this  past weekend regarding the relocation of the General Post Office. 

Mr. Armbrister noted that over the years the country’s postal system has been seriously challenged resulting in postal workers having to endure “substandard and dangerous working conditions”. 

He said, “while it is apparent that the relocation of the main post office is long overdue, there is an urgent need to modernize the postal system for the 21st Century. After years of inconvenience and discomfort, the Bahamian people expected a long-term solution and plan for the postal system. Unfortunately, we have been presented with another ad hoc and temporary solution – a temporary solution with a 5-year commitment.” 

The Government is set to lease at lease  56,000 square feet in the Town Centre Mall at $12 per square foot for five years. 

In  the wake of this, Mr. Armbrister said that the Minister with responsibility for the Post Office, Renward Wells, “could not confirm the total cost to taxpayers when asked by the media”.

This, he said, seems odd considering that, the total cost would be a minimum of $672,000 per annum or approximately $3.4m over five years. 

He added, “however, what remains unknown is the value of any anticipated leasehold improvements, ongoing maintenance costs and other associated fees for which the Bahamian taxpayer will be responsible.”

“In the absence of all the details, we question whether this is the best deal for the Bahamian people and how construction or renovation costs of other properties identified compare to the amount of funds the Government will utilize to finalize the deal with owners of the Town Centre Mall. Furthermore, the Government has failed to provide details on how this will be funded and whether the current budget can accommodate the total cost of this venture.”, he said.

Mr. Armbrister also said that the selection process for the new location also leaves much to be desired. 

“There was no request for proposals issued by the Government to provide an opportunity for all without bias and encourage competition among small-medium sized businesses or owners of commercial property within the bidding process.”, he said. 

He added, “It is disappointing that these are the actions of an administration that campaigned on transparency, accountability and economic empowerment for all. While the chosen location may have won the bid on merit, the process has been tainted by a flawed process.” 

He is concerned about this new location because he fears that the ministry will be in search of a new location in five years or” end up being stuck with this lease arrangement after investing millions of dollars in a property that we do not own”.

He implored the Government to clearly articulate a vision and plan for the modernization of the postal system in The Bahamas in the age of technology and e-commerce. 

The business model, he said, must evolve with the changing trends and inspire entrepreneurship among the Bahamian people.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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