FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7th October 2013
By Bradley B Roberts
National Chairman, Progressive Liberal Party
Dr. Minnis told the media recently that he was so concerned about the management of public finances that the Prime Minister who is the Minister of Finance should resign from that post. In light of these comments and the standard he has now set, I find it necessary to put Dr. Minnis’ apparent care, concern, conviction and new standard about “the peoples’ money” to the test
Who was at the wheel when Minnis and his cabinet colleagues reported a figure on the national debt that contradicted Central Bank figures to the tune of $500 million? It was current Prime Minister Christie who alerted the public to this discrepancy. Further, Dr. Minnis reported that the newly constructed Critical Care Unit at the Princess Margaret Hospital would cost about $70 million, but the public now knows this structure to cost taxpayers twice that amount, thanks again to the current Minister of Finance. Dr. Minnis apparently did not know what was going on in his own ministry or he willfully misled the Bahamian people.
The public now knows about the fiscal improprieties and mismanagement that took place at the National Insurance Board under the watch of Minnis’ cabinet, thanks to the current Finance Minister and Prime Minister.
Dr. Minnis cannot call for the resignation of anybody when he stood in total silence in full support of cost overruns on the FNM’s jobs training program of around $25 million and more egregiously, on the New Providence road project of around $100 million.
Dr. Minnis and his crew reported one figure on the sale of BTC and later reported different amount actually received by the government on the sale, then left office failing to clear the air on sale of BTC.
In each of the above cases, the public has to wonder whether Dr. Minnis intentionally deceived the Bahamian public or simply did not know what was going on with the people’s money even though he sat silently around the FNM cabinet and made terrible decisions about the people’s money.
Given the reports communicated to the public by Minnis’ government and the official figures released by the current Finance Minister and Prime Minister, one has to wonder if other government departments and ministries were spending more than the Ministry of Finance and the cabinet of which Dr. Minnis was a member knew about. If Minnis was so concerned about the people’s money, why did he flatly refuse to speak up? If his cabinet colleagues opposed him on this, then why did Dr. Minnis not resign on principle? Or was it that Dr. Minnis knew all along about these fiscal discrepancies and acts of mismanagement but decided to deceive the public? Dr. Minnis and his cabinet colleagues should have approved the expenditures so he should have known what was going on, but his silence was deafening.
The problem with Dr. Minnis is that his ill-advised public comments and logic can be so effortlessly used against him to expose his duplicity and hypocrisy as a leader due to his checkered record in government. He should just keep his mouth shut because he absolutely cannot speak with any moral authority or credibility on many national issues, let alone public finances.
Every time he opens his mouth, he calls into question his personal credibility in addition to his integrity as a leader and guardian of public trust and confidence. His record in government exposes him as an absolute fraud and an abject failure on both counts.