Categorized | National News

Gov’t To Review Concessions

The government plans to review all concessions and incentives in a bid to ensure value for money.

While concessions and agreements seemingly go hand in hand, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said the government is looking into how these concessions actually help Bahamians.

“The models that we have in respect to concessions are based on outdated information and models, he said, adding that in some areas, concessions were given out to try to encourage development.

“Those areas may now be able to take care of themselves, so we don’t need to incentivize them anymore and certainly not to the level that they are being incentivized,” he explained.

“We want to look at all of that and rationalize because at the end of the day, The Bahamas has got to be for Bahamians and if we’re going to give concessions, we have to make sure that Bahamians benefit from those concessions.”

The government is looking at the links between concessions, economic development and the downstream benefit.

For instance, as part of its deal with the government, US-based Oban Energies Oil Storage and Refinery Company must contribute $100,000 per annum to be used for community projects and the development of East Grand Bahama.

A local community advisory board will be established to determine the use of the funds.

“The developer shall provide equal to $US 150,000 to an accredited research institute,” Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis explained in the House of Assembly last week.

Oban is also required to use commercially reasonable efforts to use local materials, local professionals services in the develop plan. Further, it must sustain multi-disciplinary on-the-job technical skills training and apprenticeship programmes.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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