Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to be in this honorable
place once again, representing the wonderful people of the great constituency of Golden Gates. Firstly I would like to wish Golden Gates constituents and every Bahamian an enjoyable Christmas season and a rewarding New Year. I want to apologize to my constituents for not representing them at the tree lighting ceremony last evening, but unfortunately I did not receive an invitation. I want to thank the residents of Golden Gates who participated in the various activities over the past calender year, such as the fun run walk, back to school jamboree and supplies give away, the two basketball tournaments (farmers market and Pebbles park), the cultural festival, Golden Gates Marching band and the computer lab at our community center. Our 2010 calenders are now in stock and we will start distribution on Friday of this week. Our Christmas toys are expected to be ready for distribution shortly and we will be driving through Golden Gates giving them out soon afterwards. As I expect next year to be the most challenging year ever in the history of my representation, I call on Golden Gates residents and the surrounding communities to brace yourself.
Mr. Speaker , what we see here today represents what the PLP is fundamentally all about. It represents in part our core values, our drive and our purpose. It was the brain child of the father of our nation and no amount of distortion, deceit or false impression can change that. In the words of Margaret Thatcher, “ we must not be bullied or brainwashed out of our beliefs, No wonder so many of our people, some of the best and the brightest, are depressed and talking of emigrating. Even so, I think they are wrong. They are giving up too soon. Many of the things we hold dear are threatened as never before, but none has yet been lost, so stay here, stay and help us defeat this wicked and devilish Government so that The Bahamas you have known may be The Bahamas your child will know”. Mr. Speaker I had to reassure those young persons attending tertiary level institutions that there is still hope in a bright future for Bahamians. Mr. Speaker I would love to support this resolution without question but after we were fooled into believing that Excise tax was being introduced to benefit Bahamians, only to find out that many businesses were forced to close or reduce staff , as higher taxes were introduced, after hundreds of persons lost their jobs through redundancies and forced retirement and after this incompetent, useless and clueless Government sits idly by with the appearance of impotence while crime spirals out of control, how can anyone trust an FNM agenda. Then Mr. Speaker instead of providing the Royal Bahamas Police Force with the tools needed to effectively carry out their duties, Government Ministers make fun of the Police Force by saying, “ they can’t drive cars and want us to purchase a helicopter for them to fly”. No wonder the moral on the Police force is the lowest its been in the History of The Police Force. How can anyone now trust the agenda of a Government with this type of record. Then we have documented evidence of untruths deception by the Government side and in the face being caught, he try once again to deceive this place.
Mr. Speaker I guess it would be too much to ask this clueless Government for solutions to this Crime infested problems we are experiencing in The Bahamas at this time as they’ve already conceded that they do not have the solution. (Doctor Robbed by gun point in office yard).
Perhaps what they can tell us though is what in the world is going on at National Insurance. They are spending money like it’s going out of style. They are giving out contracts left right and center without going out to tender. They are taking contracts from people they believe are Progressive liberal Party Supporters and giving them to persons known to support the FNM for much higher amounts. For example, bids were received for an average of $13,000.00 and a known supporter was given the contract to supply it for just over $60,000.00, This one particular electrical contractor is making a killing from NIB. He has carte blanch to walk around NIB buildings and bill NIB at will. A security contract was issued for $24,000.00 per month to A-1 security company to secure the former Buena Vista Property. A past executive of NIB thought it was excessive as that building was completely gutted out so his position was that there was little to secure. The contract was terminated, but the owner of the company showed up at the end of the month for payment. The executive then said to him, “ That contract was terminated”, the owner of the security company then informed the executive that the Minister sent him back to work. Can you imagine that, the Minister bypassed the Chairman and the Board and sent a FNM council member back on the $24,000.00 per month job. Then I was informed that a Lawyer named Mr. Mcdonald has been given a $5000.00 per month retainer to represent NIB in matters normally dealt with by NIB in house council. Maybe the Minister can say if this is in fact the case. Even though there is a training officer at NIB I was advised that NIB paid someone $7000.00 per session for 23 sessions of training, which could have been done in house. Now to display a further degree of abuse, at a time when Globally and right here locally we are suffering the greatest challenges economically since the great depression, Executives and Board members of NIB plan to have a all expense paid retreat at the exclusive Abaco Club at Winding Bay from December 9th for one week, spending an average of $600 per person per night. Mr. Speaker they are spending money like it’s dropping out of the sky at National Insurance. There are so many instances of abuse at NIB that I won’t deal with then all at once but I will deal with them over the coming months. Mr. Speaker while all of this is happening, NIB was in such a hurry to get rid of their decent and competent employees that they sent contributors personal files packing to one of the executives they sent home, so people can’t have their cases resolved because there records are no longer at NIB.
Now we are here today attempting create some sort of charade in the transfer of certain land with clinics and other Government offices to National Insurance. Right now as we speak, I am advised that every clinic except Johnsons Bay (Miriam Green ) has officially been turned over to the Ministry of Health. Which means that The Ministry of Health is responsible for the maintenance and up keep. In Inagua the contractor who started the clinic along with the Doctors and Nurses residence was terminated and the work was split up between several sub contractors. The electrical and air condition contractor lives in Nassau, the plumbing, tile and General contractor lives in Inagua. The challenge being had now is coordinating all of these persons to complete the job.
As each one claims to be waiting on the other before they can complete what they were contracted to do.
Mr. Speaker, maybe before the end of this debate, we will have some form of understanding as to the real reason why the Government is now attempting to of load these clinics to National Insurance which wer already officially turned over to The Ministry of Health. Up until now, the Policy was to have NIB lease the properties and when Government’s debt was settled, the lease came to an end and Government retained ownership of these properties.
Mr. Speaker, while we were in office we did our best to address all concerns at NIB. We had dozens of employees who were acting and performing their jobs with distinction but simply because they did not have a degree were told that they could not be promoted. We promoted those deserving ones. But now, Promotion is a thing of the past in NIB and most Government Corporations, The Royal Bahamas Police Force and The Royal Bahamas Defense Force. Employees are being told that their motivation should be having a job to come to every day and that they should forget about any promotions anytime soon.
Mr. Speaker I admonish this Government to be careful what they are saying and doing, as it must not only make sense to them, but it must make sense to those who hear it tomorrow and beyond.