Categorized | National News

Miller Does Not Owe BEC, Roberts

Prime Minister Perry Christie’s naming of Tall Pines Member of Parliament Leslie Miller as the executive chairman of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) has sparked controversy stemming from allegations that Mr. Miller owes the corporation more than a quarter million dollars in outstanding fees.

However, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts came quickly to Mr. Miller’s defence as he claimed during an appearance on Love 97’s Issues of the Day programme yesterday, that those allegations were untrue and politically orchestrated.

Mr. Roberts, who has also previously served as a chairman of BEC, vigorously endorsed Mr. Miller’s appointment.

“My information, and this is not from political sources, this is from sources from within BEC whom I highly respect and know to be credible people, tell me that Leslie Miller, contrary to what is stated in the tabloid, does not owe BEC some $300,000 in bills,” he said.

“There is no truth I am advised to the allegations that Mr. Miller owes $300,000 to BEC.”

Reports have surfaced both in print and online recently alleging that Mr. Miller’s electricity bill for the Mario’s Entertainment Palace on Tonique Williams-Darling Highway, an establishment he owns, has soared to nearly $300,000.

Mr. Miller, who has been an advocate for exploring alternative energy as a means to reducing the cost of oil in the country, has publicly voiced his frustration with the high cost of electricity.

In fact, during an appearance on radio show last year, Mr. Miller noted that he pays more than $30,000 per month in electricity bills at his establishment.

Mr. Roberts said that Mr. Miller’s background and qualifications make him the suitable choice to lead the embattled government-run corporation.

“Mr. Miller has told me himself the electricity bill at the his business establishment is so absurdly high so if there is only one factor driving him [Mr. Miller] to bring down the high cost of electricity not for selfish reasons but for survival reasons, would be because his own business and his thousands of constituents are being heavily overburdened with this extraordinarily high cost of electricity and demanding that something be done about it,” the PLP chairman said.

Mr. Roberts also blamed the Ingraham administration for many of the financial and infrastructural challenges the corporation faces.

He said that the former government chose to ignore the recommendations made by the previous Christie government when it left office in 2007 and as a result he said, BEC has been left in chaos.

Mr. Roberts also said that returning the corporation to solid ground will be neither quick nor easy.

“There are problems at BEC and there is no magic wand that can fix the problem,” he said.

“Even if you restore Hubert Ingraham to governance today he does not have a magic wand. He [Mr. Ingraham] created the mess that currently exists at BEC and it is going to take some time to fix the mess.”

When contacted yesterday for a comment General Manager Kevin Basden referred the Journal to his public relations officer, Arnette Ingraham.

Mrs. Ingraham said it is not the corporation’s policy to discuss its customers’ bills with the media.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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