Categorized | National News

Tourism Minister Pilloried

Former Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna- Martin said comments made by Minister of Tourism Dioniso D’Aguilar concerning the Nassau Airport Development (NAD) Company Board are “regrettable” and “compromised” several respected Bahamians.

glenys hanna-martin “It is very unfortunate that the new minister of aviation has sought to cast aspersion on the former NAD Board while speaking in the House of Assembly, a place where members of that board cannot defend themselves,” Mrs. Hanna-Martin said in a statement yesterday.

“The new minister alleged impropriety on the part of the board which comprises respected Bahamian men and women, from various professional backgrounds and in respect of which each has distinguished him or herself.  That board also includes the CEO of Vantage Group of Companies.  This is very regrettable.”

She added that the situation was a bit more detailed than what Mr. D’Aguilar initially presented to the public.

“The minister should be aware that the matter involving this tenant is very complex and it is perhaps for this reason boards appointed by successive administrations, both PLP (Progressive Liberal Party) and FNM (Free National Movement),  have worked to regularize the account.

“I am advised that these complex circumstances include the fact that the tenant entered into leaseholds at a time when NAD faced a serious dilemma with the previous tenant.  Further, that the tenant assumed the lease when the outstanding arrears from the prior tenant were already at a significant level.

“The minister further seems to suggest that the tenant’s holding of multiple leases is evidence of some irregular dealings when he ought to know that there are other tenants who also have multiple leases, but the minister apparently does not deem this strange. It seems that what he believes to be the political stripes of this particular tenant creates a problem in his perception in this regards. This is also very worrisome.

“The new minister should also know that the minister responsible for aviation is responsible for relations with the Airport Authority Board and NAD and has no responsibility for or jurisdiction in the day-to-day activities of those boards.

“Any possible or remote suggestion or hinted implication that the prior minister sought to exercise influence in this decision-making is not true,” Mrs. Hanna- Martin said.

On Friday, according to former NAD Chairman Anthony McKinney, the Nassau Airport Development Company Ltd’s Board of Directors did not face interference from any politician nor was it compelled by political pressure under the former Christie administration.

He called Mr. D’Aguilar’s claims “troubling” and “irresponsible,” and suggested that had the comments not been cloaked by parliamentary privilege, legal action may have followed.

Mr. McKinney’s rebuke comes after the minister told the House of Assembly Thursday night that a tenant who operated five stores at the Lynden Pindling International Airport racked up a rental debt over five years of more than $3 million under the Christie administration.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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