Categorized | National News

Minister Denies “Outrageous” Travel Figures

Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell, who has for months battled criticisms that he is spending ridiculous amounts of money to travel overseas, is being forced to defend his travel once again.

In a telephone interview with The Bahama Journal yesterday, Minister Mitchell, who is in Dubai, said he saw an “outrageous” figure connected with this travel to the Middle Eastern country quoted on a social media site, which he claims is operated by a radio talk show host.

Mr. Mitchell is currently heading a ministerial trade mission to Dubai.

The goal is to attract much needed new capital and investment to The Bahamas.

This trade mission, according to the minister, is being paid for by the Dubai Committee for the World Expo 2020.

The social media site has quoted a figure of $250,000 and $400,000 for the travel to Dubai.

“Those figures are totally, absolutely, patently false. This is an investment in trade mission which is supported entirely by the government of Dubai. So, all of this is nonsense about this money, which is being spent,” he said.

“But, in any event, there’s a need for these critics who are making all this noise to understand that this country lives with the rest of the world. We are in a desperate struggle for investment, for finance dollars, for jobs. Right now the unemployment rate in The Bahamas for young people is 30 per cent. We have no choice.”

He added, “We can’t sit in The Bahamas and think people are going to come to us. So, this is really a sad thing that people are seeking to impugn what is something that is driven by trying to get our economy going. It is important to the future of our country for us to do what we’re doing.”

Mr. Mitchell said the Christie administration is a responsible government.

“Where are they getting this stuff from? That is complete nonsense. Do they think the Bahamas Government is mad?” he said.

“This is a sensible, rational government that is trying to improve our economy and trying to improve our image in the world and trying to get investment in the country. And for people to be spinning this kind of idle nonsense simply for political reasons is just simply outrageous.”

The Opposition has taken Mr. Mitchell to task in recent months over his high volume of travel, particularly as it relates to international conferences.
They believe he should be in the country more tackling national issues.

Rogan Smith

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