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Prime Minister Perry Christie said the government is going to conduct a full investigation into Monday’s telecommunications breakdown, which threw the country’s operations into turmoil.

Yesterday, Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) officials were still in the process of restoring broadband, mobile, landline services, which collapsed during a power outage at the company’s Poinciana Drive office – the hub of its operations.

While speaking with reporters, Prime Minister Christie said he wanted to have a full report on the matter.

“It is a very, very serious development when you find the total collapse of the system in a country like The Bahamas. There are so many negative implications as to what could have happened and so we have to have a full report on that,” he said.

“In fact what I have asked for is a full report on Cable and Wireless to date as the majority shareholder.”

According to Prime Minister Christie, he was in a meeting with Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) executives when the breakdown occurred.

He said at the time, they were discussing the government’s intention to retrieve the majority share in BTC.

Mr. Christie said the meeting was cordial.

“It is what it is,” Prime Minister Christie said. “They have their provisions and I have my provision and I just won the general election. One of the principle approaches we took during the general election was that we would move to do what we said we would do and I am in the process of doing that.”

“The country could expect, in some stage in the future, to hear about that.”

Some financial watchdogs have said that if the government retrieves BTC’s majority share it would further cripple the country’s finances.

But Prime Minister Christie said he’s not concerned about that.

“The country’s finances are what they are. Quite frankly, I am not speaking to the timing, but the principle of this issue. It is a position that we have taken on behalf of the people of our country and so I am not concerned really about the state of finances and its relationship to the decision we have made and to the process that now ensues in my discussions,” he said.
“I think it’s important for people to understand that we took the position and that position has been indicated in a democratic contest and it is clear what our position is. But, what we do know is that whatever we do, we are going to do it in the right way, at the right pace and in the best overall interest of both the company and the people of The Bahamas.”

When CWC purchased 51 per cent of BTC from the former Ingraham administration last year, a part of the memorandum of understanding was that the government sell nine per cent of its remaining 49 per cent share.

Mr. Christie said that is something his government is still exploring.

“Ultimately, we will have to make decisions as to how we approach the decision of the shareholding of BTC. The former government had made a decision to liquidate some of its 49 per cent and we stayed that decision until such time where we can have an approach to the major shareholder based on our electoral commitment,” the prime minister said.

“We ruled nothing out in our approach to having an efficient administration, but at this time our quest is to come to terms in some process of initiating with negotiations and discussions.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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