Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts has fired back at comments from Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis who recently called on the government to keep its agreement with Baha Mar.
Dr. Minnis was commenting specifically on the Cable Beach road works and stated that nothing should be changed in the agreement between the government and Baha Mar “unless the government and the investor come to some other agreement.”
The Free National Movement (FNM) leader added that he believes the agreement and what Baha Mar says it is entitled to and “no matter the facts, should be paid.”
However, Mr. Roberts refuted Dr. Minnis’ assertions and claiming that he has again “lived up to his reputation as a confused flip flopper who does not know his own mind.”
In statement released Thursday Dr. Roberts said, “This is not only confusion but total idiocy. If I had reason to believe that Hubert Minnis had anything going for him, simply reading this article would have convinced me that he is absolutely bereft of common sense.
“Yes, the agreement should be honoured except where it is corrupt or was incompetently entered into and any responsible government will seek to secure the best value on behalf of its people; apparently Dr. Minnis disagrees with this tenet of governance.”
The government was originally expected to pay Baha Mar more than $45 million to assist with cost of the new West Bay Street if the total cost exceeded $70 million.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis who also has responsibility for public works, said recently that since the cost of the road works was less than estimated the government was only obliged to pay Baha Mar half of the total cost.
Mr. Davis said the government’s assessment has found that the road is valued at $58 million.
But Dr. Minnis said the government’s refusal to pay Baha Mar what it originally agreed to would be bad for business.
“To say that the government has to accept anything that a contractor tells it as absolute truth belies the responsibility of the government to protect the interests and tax dollars of the Bahamian People,” Mr. Roberts said. “Dr. Minnis’ new policy position is that a government should do just that and to hell [with] logic, reason or good governance.
“I further note that Dr. Minnis is the same man who served in a government that unceremoniously cancelled legally enforceable agreements with Bahamians and others as a matter of policy following the 2007 General Election. Eighty million dollars of public works were stopped under the watch of the FNM including the Straw Market, extensive public road works and at least four public schools. Bahamians will never forget Mr. Ingraham’s ill-advised attacks on the Baha Mar project that drove Harrah’s away from the bargaining table.”