Categorized | National News

PM Fires Back At Minnis Over Baha Mar Road Deal

Prime Minister Perry Christie said Monday Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis had his facts wrong when he criticised the government last week over its announcement that it plans to pay Baha Mar less than it had previously agreed to for the road works at West Bay Street.

The government had initially agreed to pay Baha Mar $45 million plus an additional $2 million if the cost of the roads exceeded $70 million.

But according to Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis who also serves as Minister of Public Works the cost of those works was less than projected; in fact, he said based on a assessment by the government, the roads are now valued at $58 million.

This means that the government is now only obligated to pay half of the total cost.

But Dr. Minnis has accused the government of backpedaling on its agreement and he called on the Christie administration to honour its commitment.

Dr. Minnis’ assertions were dismissed by the prime minister who says as a member of the former administration Dr. Minnis does not have a leg to stand on.

“You cannot engage in politics where you could be easily embarrassed by your politics,” Mr. Christie said.

“I know you want to take advantage of what you think might be weaknesses or mistakes by the government but the government has been advised by professionals.

“The agreement clearly provided we would pay our due share – 50 per cent of that and it said how we would go about assessing that and the assessments on the basis of the advice we have received have indicated that we need to have further discussions.”

Mr. Christie added that he is in constant communication with Baha Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian and he insisted that the relationship between Baha Mar and the government remains strong. But the prime minister did concede that the deal between the parties may need to be revisited.

“It’s not a question of reneging on agreements and I was absolutely shocked for someone who was in the Ingraham government where they cancelled projects and actually had to pay damages for the cancellation of projects –the straw markets – BTC – whatever it was, for him to talk about honouring agreements for god’s sake it almost as if he wasn’t in the last government,” the prime minister said.

“The fact of the matter is we owe an obligation to the people of this country to jealously guard the revenue of the country and to ensure that we are spending the money wisely and properly. That’s all we are doing right now – we are not causing any harm or any injustice to Baha Mar. What we’re doing is trying to work through the challenges that this issue has posed between and we are working through those challenges.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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