Two human rights groups in Grand Bahama recently abhorred a move by the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) to disconnect power from all public schools on that island, especially, they said, in light of the major concessions they receive from the government.
President of Families for Justice Organisation Rev. Glenroy Bethel joined the Coalition for Concerned Citizens President in slamming the GBPC for cutting powers to the schools, despite the fact, they said, that governments have “allowed millions of dollars in concessions over the years that the power company have benefited from.”
“If the government were to request, for a public audit on behalf of the Grand Bahama community, the public would discover that millions of dollars in concessions over the years have been allowed to the power company, which is a foreign company doing business in the Grand Bahama community,” Rev. Bethel said.
“It is the organisation’s view that any corporate citizen, foreign or domestic, which have received concessions from the Government of The Bahamas must treat the Grand Bahama community with dignity and respect. For the power company to disconnect the power to all public schools, it is an insult to the community and the Government of The Bahamas.There is no place in The Bahamas, where the concessions by the government is very high and have been legislated for so many years that a foreign investor can enjoy the benefits, such as bonded vehicles, real property tax, equipment’s bonded, office supplies and furniture bonded, and most of all bonded fuel.”
Rev. Bethel urged the government to act now for the welfare of all Grand Bahamians so that this action by the power company never happens again.
Last week, Free National Movement (FNM) Member of Parliament for Central Grand Bahama Neko Grant released a statement lashing out at the government over the matter.
Mr. Grant stated the Christie Administration has proven to be incapable of doing basic administrative functions.
The Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson, also spoke out calling the government’s reported failure to pay its electricity bills a “national disgrace.”
She added that the power cuts disrupted the annual preparation of report cards.
Up to press time, the Bahama Journal was unable to contact Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald for comment.