Categorized | National News

‘New Ministry Brings Incoherent Confusion’

Opposition Leader Philip Davis said the announcement of the new Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction brought an “incoherent dose of confusion that will fuel more delays and deepen the level of dissatisfaction, anger and frustration” among Bahamians.

“The PLP is deeply concerned about this lack of leadership in articulating a clear direction and vision through a practical policy response by the government in the aftermath of the country’s latest disaster and crisis,” Davis said yesterday in a statement responding to the prime minister’s announcement of the new ministry.

“NEMA is the statutory authority and executing mechanism to manage all national emergencies. We do not agree that another layer of bureaucracy with another political head will solve the myriad of challenges facing the government in this national effort.”

Davis is calling on Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to do his job because the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), he said, must be structurally and functionally transformed from a coordination body to a fully resourced corporate sole entity. 

“It has been almost three weeks since Dorian made landfall and left and the government does not appear any more prepared to deal with this national emergency than it was in the days leading up to and after Dorian’s landfall,” Davis added.

“There was sufficient for a recall of parliament to debate much of the details and to chart a collective course going forward.

“No doubt, the disaster is the substantive minister, which is the Most Hon. Hubert Minnis himself.”

Central Grand Bahama Member of Parliament Iram Lewis was appointed as the minister of state responsible for the new ministry.

However, Davis has many questions concerning the role of the new Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction.

“One of the leaders of the legislative branch of government is now subject to the executive? The recently announced storm coordinators report to the NEMA executive director? Does NEMA report to this new ministry? What is the state minister for Grand Bahama doing as relief and restoration should be the major focus of that ministry?” Davis asked.

“On the major issues of security and public safety, are the security forces subject to this new ministry?

“How do these new and combined reporting relationships make for a smoother and more efficient operation?

“Clearly the government is shooting from the hips and the seat of their pants as a result of the strong pushback and criticism from the ill-advised appointment of Senate President Kay Forbes-Smith. Her decisions have created long lines and unacceptable delays in receiving relief supplies. We decry these long lines as deepening the frustration and an affront to the dignity of those affected, many of whom have lost everything including the lives of loved ones.

“This is another unhelpful example of political waste with another permanent secretary and all the structure which goes with a new ministry.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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