Categorized | National News

Miller Appointed BEC Chairman

The nation’s chief has appointed Tall Pines MP, Leslie Miller as the Bahamas Electricity Corporation’s (BEC) new chairman.
Prime Minister Perry Christie told reporters yesterday that he has appointed Mr. Miller to run the state-run electricity company.

“I have appointed Mr. Miller and with regards to the other boards, we have people in place and they will be appointed by [the end of] June,” he said.

The prime minister’s comments follow the Free National Movement’s (FNM) call for the government to appoint a BEC board in light of the recent power outages in New Providence.

In a statement released by party leader, Dr. Hubert Minnis late Monday, he noted that it is “inexcusable” that the new government has yet to appoint a new board to oversee the operations at one of the country’s main utility companies.

“For a government which campaigned upon the promise that it would be ‘ready on day one’ the travails inflicted continually upon the Bahamian people by BEC is inexcusable,” Dr. Minnis said.

“It is inexcusable that BEC’s electrical generating plants are presently chronically short of fuel. It is inexcusable that a full Board of Directors for BEC, with a chairman, has not yet been announced and constituted by this government – a government supposedly ready on day one. The party notes that certain press reports in a newspaper stated that Prime Minister Christie made some sort of half-way announcement of some intention to appoint Leslie Miller as chairman of the Board for BEC.”

The FNM leader said if the announcement was correct, the “ready on day one” prime minister seems to be a month-and-a-half late and two island-wide blackouts shy of seriously addressing the chronic problems, which are besetting BEC.”

“The Bahamian people deserve better than a half-baked half-way announcement by the prime minister at a funeral service,” Dr. Minnis said.

“The business community deserves better. All persons suffering in the sweltering heat of summer deserve better. The FNM calls on the government to move immediately to appoint a functional, effective and responsibly-led Board of Directors of BEC so that Bahamians can experience some relief from the devastating inefficiency now being inflicted upon them by the PLP and a leaderless and rudderless Bahamas Electricity Corporation.”

The party leader’s comments followed a service meltdown at the corporation on Monday.

BEC blamed the outage on a surge in its system.

“Crews were immediately dispatched to restore supplies and to investigate the cause of the surge. BEC began restoring supplies to its customers in less than half an hour after the initial fault. The last remaining customers had their supplies restored at noon on Monday,” the state-run corporation said in a press statement on Monday.

“At this time, this corporation is investigating the cause of Monday’s island-wide outage and has isolated the cause of the fault to a problem on its transmission network.”

Officials said power was restored in New Providence by noon.

“The FNM joins with thousands of irate Bahamian [homeowners], and business owners in expressing grave concern about the apparent great inefficiencies which are plaguing BEC over the past several weeks,” Dr. Minnis said.

“Bahamians suffered through the second unexplained island-wide blackout in as many weeks. So severe was [Monday] morning’s blackout that it apparently served to knock-out all cellular and mobile communications over BTC’s network for several hours as well as significant landline communication facilities of BTC and Cable Bahamas. This is not only a personal security concern, but is also a national security concern.”

Sasha Lightbourne

Written by Sasha Lightbourne

Journal Staff Writer

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