Categorized | National News

PM Defends Baha Mar Deal

Prime Minister Perry Christie is defending his administration’s decision to ensure that court documents relating to the Baha Mar deal remain sealed.

He said despite the criticisms, Mr. Christie said he worked hard on the deal.

“I spent a year of my life leaving my office 1:00 a.m. keeping staff in the office engaging and negotiating for the young people of The Bahamas. For Bahamians who are owed millions of dollars for Bahamians who invested millions of dollars for young people by the thousands who need to be paid,” the prime minister said during the groundbreaking of the BTVI new centre.

On Monday night, Prime Minister Perry Christie revealed that the project has been remobilized and that the resort will be opened by the end of 2017.

Mr. Christie also said that a number of Baha Mar’s creditors would be paid including former employees with outstanding amounts due to them, unpaid salaries, severance pay, accrued vacation pay and notice payments due to termination.

He also announced that the government has secured a buyer for the $3.5 billion Cable Beach project.

And even though, many are pushing for him to do so, Mr. Christie said he will not release that identity of the buyer until his lawyers give him instructions to.

“We have to recognize that The Bahamas is in a world where hundreds of millions of dollars has to be transferred to The Bahamas. You don’t jump up and talk about that until it is time to talk,” he said.

Over the week, members of the Free National Movement and others have bashed the government over its lack of transparency on a new deal struck to get Baha Mar opened.

In a statement, the government continued to defend its actions.

“It is important to note that the Baha Mar Group of Companies are the subject of liquidation proceedings, governed and supervised by The Supreme Court,” officials said.

“The full details of the agreement that enables re-mobilisation were revealed to the Court. The file in the matter has been sealed by Order of The Court. This is usual in matters of this kind so that sensitive negotiations may proceed and conclude in an orderly fashion, in the public interest.”

Officials said that Baha Mar, the largest project ever of its kind in the region is a complex, commercial transaction that requires significant attention to detail.

The statement added that although there are many accusations, the government will not be deterred.

“The government will not be distracted from its efforts and will continue to work for and on behalf of the Bahamian people. There have been allegations that we have offered citizenships. This is false. There have been allegations that we have given away or sold islands. This is false,” the statement said. “Nothing has been given by way of concessions that have not been offered before to previous investors. As the prime minister said in his statement, re-mobilisation of the project will begin immediately. This has already started. The prime minister also said, construction will begin next month. Preparation is already underway. The prime minister further said, Bahamian employees and contractors will be paid. Arrangements for the transfer and the payout of funds are currently being finalised.”

The government said the name of Baha Mar’s buyer will be revealed in the coming days.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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