Categorized | National News


It was revealed on Wednesday that the prior government spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on rent to one tenant.


In the House of Assembly Minister of Works Desmond Bannister said the former administration entered into a seven year agreement to lease the Penn’s Builders Square compound.


“The monthly rent of $46,892.40, totals $562,708.80 per year. This was not a prudent decision,” Bannister said.


He added that the government had to pay a security deposit of $43,620.84 as well as first and last month’s rent which is an anomaly.


“I can’t imagine the government entering into this type of arrangement. Sadly, there does not appear to be a way out of this lease,” Bannister said.


The Penn’s Builders Square houses two public offices – the National Recovery and Reconstruction Unit (NRRU) and the National Empowerment Programme.


Bannister said that while the NRRU was last month transferred to the Ministry of Public Works, it remains at Penn’s Builder’s Squares as they must honor the expensive lease.


The minister said it’s irrefutable that the functioning of the NRRU has to undergo change as it relates to ensuring that those persons who are truly in need are the beneficiary of the assistance that it provides.


He said in order for this to happen they must prevent the likelihood of mismanagement and abuse that existed before hand in order to bring normalcy, transparency and accountability to the NRRU processes.


“ We have a moral obligation to ensure that the decisions we make in the short term have long term benefits, for the welfare and well-being of all Bahamians,” Bannister said.


He added that one of the predominant changes will involve an audit exercise of the Grand Bahama operations with appropriate recommendations.


“We will also request an audit of all expenditure by the NRRU prior to August 2017 and insist that an external accounting firm provide monthly financial reports in keeping with the requirements of the Auditor General’s Department,” Bannister said.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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