Categorized | Business, National News

Gov’t Affirms Support For Port Expansion

The Nassau Container Port (NCP) in now in full operation and the government has reassured its commitment to the port’s further growth and development.

Tourism Minister Obie Wilchombe recently toured the Arawak cay facility – one that enables the government as a 40 per cent shareholder in the port to earn $5.3 million annually in dividends.

During a presentation, Chief Executive Officer at Arawak Port Development Mike Maura provided a comprehensive overview of the port and its impact on the transformation of the shipping industry in the country.

The minister commended Mr. Muara and his team for the progress made in just two years.

“I think it requires some further discussion, the government certainly is committed but how we proceed requires further discussion and working with the partner ensuring that we can always improve , the fact that you have 400 employees now, you have a state of the art facility – you have to think about where we have to go and how we’re going to plan for the future, how much is this island going to grow and to think about further investments that are taking place now and will take place in the future so we have to plan for today and tomorrow and this facility does provide that opportunity,” he said.

“Yes we support and we want to see it continue to expand, we have to work with the partners to ensure that we are doing all of the things that will benefit the entire country.”

Mr. Mura cited several challenges related to what he considers improper use of the other ports in New Providence and the Family Islands as potential opportunities for abuse and ultimately threats to national security such concerns the tourism minister said need to be investigated.

“We have to look at it because we have to ensure that it’s not being abused and it’s not being used for the wrong reasons, the ports have everything else, you have to appreciate that things will land in their respective islands but it doesn’t make sense landing something in Bimini for clearance and bringing it to New Providence where it’s going to remain,” he said.

“You have to appreciate that a lot has happened over the last two years, now with an appreciation for what exist it means that we can bring things to a central location and fix the problems that exist.”

NCP boast of a well train staff capable of working at any port facility internationally, one of the reasons the port is considered number one in the region in productivity but since its relocation to Arawak Cay, people have question whether the port could co-exist with the Fish Fry – a popular spot for locals and tourist.

On that note Mr. Muara presented a plan to create a new entrance to the port to avoid truckers having to pass through the fish fry.

Mr. Wilchombe agreed that it is an idea that should be discussed and explored.

The tour was organized as a part of the port’s efforts to forge a closer relationship with the government.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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