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BEC Fiasco Exposes Crisis of Leadership

Free National Movement Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis said the “Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) fiasco exposes a crisis of leadership” therefore, the governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) “must go”.

Dr. Minnis’ comments came yesterday during a press conference at BEC’s headquarters on Blue Hill Road, where he explained the governments failed strategies to fix the corporation’s problems.

“Over the last two and a half years, BEC has had unprecedented problems with providing consistent power supply to its consumers, especially in New Providence. No remedy suggested, and/or implemented by this PLP administration has worked,” Dr. Minnis said.

“Thousands of residents have had to endure the loss of revenue, damage to appliances, spoilage of food, oppressive heat, inconveniences and loss of productive hours. At the same time many of our investors are potentially facing millions of dollars in lost revenue, and our country which is already reeling from business loss due to concerns over our crime rate, is now taking a reputational hit over inconsistency of power supply,” he added.

Dr. Minnis also condemned the Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis and BEC’s Executive Chairman Leslie Miller for issuing contradictory statements regarding an explanation for the island-wide blackout.

Mr. Miller informed the press that last weekend’s power outage was due to staff negligence.

However, in a press statement, Mr. Davis stated that he is satisfied that “the fault did not occur as a result of negligence by employees, and it is regrettable that any intimation to that effect was ever issued.”

According to Dr. Minnis, “The prime minister has relinquished control of this very important corporation to his deputy, who is out of his depth on this matter. Furthermore, they have put in place an executive chairman, who is at odds with both the government and the workers at BEC with respect to the way forward.”

“That points out the confused state this government is in, and if we continue to be led by individuals who are confused themselves, you can imagine the damage they would do to this country. It is time that the PLP move on,” he added.

On Monday BEC’s Union President Paul Maynard called for Mr. Miller to resign following his statements casting the blame for the island-wide power outage on BEC workers.

However, Dr. Minnis expressed his support to the union stating that the call for Mr. Miller’s resignation is due to a lack of respect and communication on Mr. Miller’s behalf.

“I think Leslie Miller should respect the unions. You need to communicate with the people. When there’s a breakdown of communication, a breakdown of respect, what would you expect from the unions? He must show leadership and respect the individuals. If he does not respect them, they will not respect him. Therefore, you would respect no recourse other than what they are requesting,” Dr. Minnis said.

Dr. Minnis asserted that his administration will clean up what he calls a “tangled mess that the PLP have made of BEC”. He noted that “the crisis of leadership” would not be helpful in the process toward the privatization of BEC.

“The lack of a clear and consistent national strategy, or specific energy policy, has meant that the government has publicly lurched from one policy consideration after the other. First the government aired a proposal to split BEC into two parts, generation, and transmission. Then the plan was to privatize electricity generation only. Later the plan was not to privatize at all. Then the plan was announced, not to divide the company into a separate generation and a separate transmission company. Now the plan is to merely appoint a private sector management company,” Dr. Minnis said.

He added, “It is all too clear, that this visionless government has totally failed Bahamians in having fumbled in their short-sighted and conflicting policy pronouncements. BEC is a mess, a PLP mess.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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