Categorized | Editorials

The Road Works Boondoggle?

If you broke it; you bought it. This pithy saying that is often attributed to General Colin Powell today illuminates how it now arises that the current administration now owes the Bahamian people a heads-up on what is really happening with the New Providence Road Improvement Project. More specifically, these people want to know how much this project would have cost them once the last piece of tarmac has been completed.

Indeed, a situation now arises where very many of these people are just not impressed by some of what they are hearing say was said by Deputy Prime Minister and minister of works, Philip Davis. DPM Davis was also of the view that the Government had no plans to halt the project, but was trying to see it completed in an “effective and manageable manner”. There it goes from the current administration: “…See it completed in an “effective and manageable manner”. The Inter-American Development Bank has said that, “…it was “in the best interest” of whichever government was elected at the upcoming general election to bring the New Providence Road Improvement Project “to a quick and efficient end.”. From what we now see all about us, such a quick and efficient way seems not to be in the offing. If ever there was a venture that proved true an old adage, the Roads Project as executed proves the timeless truth at the living heart of that proposition which holds that, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

Clearly, those who initiated the Roads Project were just so minded. We hope that a similar fate does not befall this new team as they go about their work. This as they get a hold and find their stride in dealing – as best they can – to deal with [or restore] the political-economic fortunes of this land of ours.

This brings us back to our central concern with the Roads and the extent to which this is now the current administration’s slippery slope to a disaster unprecedented in today’s Bahamas. That there was once a time in our social history was hottest; and when in the heat of battle, the word in the wind was to the effect that “…The New Providence Road Improvement Project… has been an unmitigated disaster…” Current Prime Minister, the Hon.

Perry G. Christie – was then in command of forces that hammered home an attendant message, “…the chronic, ongoing violations of the specific terms of international agreements could have serious implications for future investments in The Bahamas…”

Mr. Christie – as we recall – indicated – “…we will have to work hard to mitigate the damage they have caused…” With this as backdrop, we aver that note should be taken of the fact that this nation’s attentive public now knows –as it were- some of the rest of the story as to what must happen if the roads project under construction is to be completed in the next few months. The public also knows that they will be obliged –as tax payers –to cough up the money needed to make good some of the disasters heaped upon their heads by people whose intentions were certainly so very good. For as long as the Great Recession has been the background for the conduct of public policy in The Bahamas, we have warned, counseled and sought to explain that business as usual should be out of the question.

And of course, there was a time when we did warn that hard times were falling and that – as a consequence – all who would lead should work together to appraise the Bahamian people of the facts that would now help shape and steer their destiny in the world. Few heeded our jeremiads; thus the current realities where the former Ingraham administration [perhaps then on its last legs in the ruler’s seat] was being obliged to admit that it had not made any number of fiscally irresponsible errors. Their mistakes now haunt us all. In the absence of demonstrable success, a similar fate awaits the current administration. By way of illustration, we are today reminded of that time in recent memory when we ventured onto the Prince Charles roadway where – in soon order – we found ourselves mired in a muddy ditch. There was also a myriad of diversion signs all indicating that no matter what we wished or where we would like to go, the roads were still tightly bound together by a maze of works under progress. This road works mess is now the responsibility of Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie and his new team.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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