Brave Davis Takes FNM to task on BTC sale

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PLP strongman Philip Brave Davis takes FNM government to task on sale of BTC.

PRESS STATEMENT

PHILIP BRAVE DAVIS, MP

9th December, 2010

GUESS WHO’S COLLECTING THE FINDER’S FEE IN THE BTC SALE?

PRESS STATEMENT: I find it indeed incredible to see members of the Free National Movement engage in the political masquerading with deflections of the facts on BTC at a time when the future of workers all across this country hang in the balance.

Firstly, it should be made clear that my colleagues and I did not initiate the meeting between Cable and Wireless representatives Sharon Brown and David Shaw.

At the outset of the meeting on Wednesday, I declared my interest as the former legal representative for Blue Water, a group with considerable expertise and access to cutting edge technology in the global telecommunications sector, who had placed a bid for the Corporation’s 49% minority stake under the former Christie Government.

That aside, it was clear from our meeting that the representatives of Cable and Wireless were unable to share with our delegation any details of the “secret deal” and have failed to explain the Memorandum of Understanding.

Cable and Wireless representatives were unable to explain the role The Bahamas will play in its overall Caribbean network or give direction as to how hundreds of employees at BTC will be impacted.  They called the meeting , yet they had no answers!

My colleagues and I find it very strange that the Prime Minister of the Bahamas speaks of being open on matters of national concern, but yet practices high-level corporate secrecy, and lacks the needed transparency and openness in the sale of this most valuable public asset.

The Ingraham Government has yet to provide a list of bidders for the purchase of the profitable asset and their bids nor could they explain how they came to the conclusions how some 30% of the Bahamian workforce at BTC will be made jobless. When we sat with Cable and Wireless yesterday, they explained they had not completed plans for staff.

No one has spoken to the tens of Millions in liabilities of the BTC pension fund and how this sale will affect the hardworking staff members who have given so many years of services to our country through BTC.  They expect to receive their pensions and should not be held responsible for the shortfall caused by the Prime Minister’s reckless first attempt to privatize the corporation almost 10 years ago.

This Government has yet to tell us how a former executive of Cable and Wireless who now heads URCA will regulate their operations in the Bahamas in the interest of the Bahamian consumer and not Cable and Wireless.  It is clear that the Bahamian people and the workers at BTC are the ones who have been dealt a deadly blow

Plans by the FNM Government to sell 51% majority control of BTC is a bad deal, and to sell the public asset far below its market value is indeed reckless to say the least and cannot be justified as being in the public interest.

The Ingraham Government should know that as the Government of the Bahamas that they have a sacred duty to look after the well being of Bahamians – the protection of jobs should be priority one.

Unlike the PLP, The FNM government continues to be led down a blind path by abdicating this responsibility and appears hell-bent on signing a deal with Cable and Wireless knowing that much needed jobs will be lost. In fact, they have made it their mantra to fire workers, in this second term in office as done recently at The Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas and in the Police, Immigration and Customs departments.

Additionally, rather than focusing their energies on the PLP and myself, the Government should confirm or deny if there is a finder’s fee being collected in the sale of BTC. Who is the person collecting that fee, and what is the percentage being collected on the sale? The government should also come clean and state, whether a member of the board at BTC is indeed the beneficiary.

My colleagues and I find it shocking to see the FNM machine focus on us while they avoid explaining the facts to the Bahamian people. Our people deserve better!

  • When you look at CW tell me exactly what is it that they are bringing to the table for the Bahamas. BTC is right now under the government implementing IPTV, NGN, 3G to upgraded its network which is about to come on stream first quarter next year. You know what is so sad, after the government privatize BTC, CW will take the glory in implementing these services. For me it has nothing to do with PLP or FNM but its about the Bahamian people. Are we getting a fair deal? why so many secrets. Bahamians wake up. Tell me something if BTC is operated by the government, why are government officials on tv talking about CW will bring cheaper rates when by a stroke of a pen they have the power to lower the rates, after all they are the government and they can do it. Come on man, stop making us look like we stupid. BTC has been a cash COW for the government for years. Believe it or not the government uses BTC millions to pay public servant salaries. When the money is not available the next step for the government is to reduce public servants. That’s next on the drawing board for this government. There are many sad days ahead of us with this government. BEC, Water & Sewage, Bahamasair & Public Servants watch out your next.

  • What both of you should be arguing about is the reputation of CW and the impact it will have on communications in The Bahamas. The fact that they have been loosing market share at a rapid pace and have completely lost their footing in Jamaica, their home turf. What impact its 10% drop in share value will have on its Bahamas operations. Why is it that experts in the Communications Market are viewing them with a side-eye and grave concern of its future prospects. You need to be discussing how the blow back for its own investors will rattle the very foundation of CW at its next AGM after receiving a stife rebuke for its irresponsible management style. All this vain babbling, is nothing more than gutter rat nonesense and leaves one to believe the intellectual capacity to debate substantively escapes all of you…CHANGE!!!!

  • Eagle, it seems as if there is so much emotion in this BTC matter. I agree with you for the most part. But my concern is the advancement of the Bahamas.I have friends over the Caribbean and have spoken to them about C&B and the services they provide. It is a resounding sense of approval for what they bring. I remember when we first got cell phones,it was overscribe in no time. Over time, we increased the amount of cell lines. Other countries who are not as ‘well’ off as The Bahamas, have better cell phone service then we do. My concern is that there appears to be some secrecy about this deal. Then I ask, why did Christie and big mouth Roberts did not finanlze the deal? then I remember Bahamar and the answer is clear to me. Slow again to close the big deal. Don’t be scared!!!

  • @Eagle, guess what? I do agree with you, it should not happen, but was it wrong?, and if it was, why have the FNM government not dealt with him, in court or through Parliamentary procedure, I not afraid to answer any of this, common sense is common sense, so you have to prove that is was wrong, I’m sure when the question was asked who is getting the finders fee for the BTC, C&W deal, and the government has already signed the MOI, I answered you, you need to answer that, and the other questions, and have not the FNM done the same thing that Brave has done, and all of the conflict of interest, again, stop taking up for these crooks, it makes you look like a crook too, you to Jack Black, I hope that answers your question that you thought was so deep, if Brave is wrong arrest him, and get the others the same time.

    • I tend to respond only to verifiable facts and reserve my opinion on rumours, innuendos and accusations. Fact is, Brave Davis was legal representative for Blue Water – he said so. It is not illegal, but extremely unethical and highly suspect.

      • But again he was not a Minister, if something was wrong with that the FNM would have jumped all over him, you are running away from the main point, that is what is going on now, that your party leader is basically selling the country down the river, is that a enough of a fact for you?, stop towing party line and tow on the countries line, Bahamas first, we should not be giving away our treasures, what are you getting out of this Eagle?.

      • media

        Sound like we need to now find out who is the FNM GENERAL that is collecting the 3% finder’s fee in the sale of BTC to Cable and Wireless. This is just plain criminal and CORRUPT!

        BP

  • Eagle they ga play blind to those facts.

  • @High Flyer, being an MP, you are still allowed to work a regular job, if you become a Minister you are not allowed to work outside the Government’s Cabinet, so there was nothing wrong with Brave or any other MP that is not in the Cabinet, representing a business, and what does Blue Water have to do with the deal that the FNM government is working on?, the government is the FNM party, why are you pushing the FNM talking points?, why aren’t you asking the questions that Brave put forward?, ignorance is dangerous.

    • Yes, MP’s are allowed to work their regular jobs. But a sitting MP should not be representing firms that are in negotiations with government whether that MP’s party is in power or not. In this case, Brave represented Blue Water in their bid to purchase BTC when the PLP was in power. And the PLP accepted the bid (but, as usual, was too slow to actually finish it). Now, if you don’t see the conflict there, you don’t want to see it.

      • SG

        I agree wit you Eagle.

        I think that is why he never WANTED a cabinet position so that he can stay in his Law firm and get RICH off the FAT OF THE LAND, without NEVER doing any thing significant for Cat Island.

  • EAGLE, which part of Hubert’s ass are you so attached to? Do you have the ability to think for your self? Will you go to your miserable grave hanging on to Ingraham’s behind? I don’t know boy, but that bad smelling odour emminating from his behind must have your head spinning.

    • Is that your best argument? This discussion is, obviously, totally out of your league.

  • Why we always full of secrets? We don’t really have time to play hide an seek, so if krossova or bp or mr davis knows something, please dont wait until the deal is secure to release the info, becuae it wont do a drop of good at that point other than to say “i told u so”. If mr. davis knows that somebody collecting a finders fee he needs to call names. Our politicians have no balls whatsoever, always insinuating and always just stopping short. I find it disgusting that mr. davis a sitting mp for the government of the day was also the legal representative of the still unknown bluewater telecom.

    SOMEBODY PLEASE HAVE THE GUTS AND LOVE OF COUNTRY TO CALL NAMES

    • media

      High Flyer that is why they hate the ground BP walks. People hate sheets getting pull.

      BP

  • my, my Eagle…….. if you think Brave Davis role in the Blue Water deal is disgusting, I invite you to look closely at the Cable & Wireless deal.
    ask your questions about who is getting “finder’s fee”.
    there is a slew of questions you need to ask about this deal.

  • And Eagle one more thing, you should read all of it, don’t stop, there are some pretty good questions to be answered, “Bahamians have been running Batelco/BTC from that time, let Bahamians run it now and forever, there will be bumps in the road like any company, we will complain, like Floridians complain about their light/phone/internet/banks companies, we could go on and on, but our company is profitable, we can bring in a partner, but we should have the lion share of the profit, give away Bahamas Air, BEC, Water, the FNM and PLP parties, give away the country, let SONY or the IMPORT-EXPORT Bank manage our affairs, we have a leader that has no faith in us as a people, let’s have no faith in him, “GET DA **** OUTTA DODGE”, let’s find someone that truly believes in us.

  • This is a very lame attempt by the PLP to place obstacles in the way of progress. They should really think about changing their name to REGRESSIVE Liberal Party. Are we really that afraid of change and advancement or are our leaders more concerned about who gets the credit for it???

  • When I reached the part where Davis said that he was the legal representative for Blue Water, I stopped reading. This is precisely the kind of money-grabbing scheme that Bahamians detest and the reason why the PLP were voted out of office in 2007. As long as the PLP continues to be lead by the “all-for-me-baby” crew, they should remain OUT of office! DAMMIT!

    • And to be fair Eagle, the same reason why the FNM will be voted out of office, for money grabbing and covering up and all that good stuff, don’t stop typing until you have said it all, “BE FAIR DUDE”, ya red underwear showing!!!.

    • media

      Eagle that is the very reason why FNMs are being considered as DUMB uneducated misfits they are. They cannot take TRUTH! THEY CANNOT COMPLETE READING TRUTH AND THUS INGRAHAM’s diatribe rules!

      We believe Mr. Davis here did what Sharon Brown refuse to do; DECLARE HIS INTEREST! But ya think Sharon Brown would do that? I believe PAPA sent her to Cable and Wireless and BP will soon tell you how we came to that conclusion. We also believe Papa set up that meeting with the PLP all to deflect attention from the rape of the Bahamian asset.

      BP

      • Let’s assume you’re not referring to me as dumb and uneducated. Look, I don’t know who Sharon Brown is, but I DO know that she is NOT an elected official in The Bahamas. I have no problem with persons who earn professional remuneration for their services, that’s business. There is a clear conflict of interest, however, when Brave Davis, a very senior PLP MP, represents Blue Water in negotiations with the PLP Cabinet. And to think that they would have actually gotten approval to buy BTC had the PLP won in 2007 – Christie said as much. The FNM saved us from this atrocity in the knick of time.