PLP Responds to ARAWAK CAY PORT MOU

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Leo Ryan Pinder MP for Elizabeth, following his Elizabeth Election Win.

RE: ARAWAK CAY PORT MOU

Today the Prime Minister tabled in the House of Assembly the executed Memorandum of Understanding for the Arawak Cay Port which was executed on May 10, 2010.  The MOU details the agreement between the Government of the Bahamas and the APD, Ltd.  The Progressive Liberal Party believes there are a number of unconscionable provisions in the MOU that not only support a special interest group, but would put the economic advancement of the Bahamas at risk. First and foremost, this is effectively a 90 year agreement with 20 independent companies.  The PLP feels that given the need for the advancement of the country, any agreement for 90 years is not in the Bahamas’ best interest.

The Board of Directors of APD, Ltd., the company that will operate the Port, advances control to a special interest group, while effectively removing the Bahamian public from any decision making.  In any quasi public, private endeavor, where the Bahamian public has a right to ownership, in this case 20% of the shares, the Bahamian public should be the watchdogs, have a say in the operations.  The Arawak Cay Port has a Board of Directors in which the private 40% shareholder group controls the majority of the seats (4 of 7), as well as the post of Chairman.  The Government of the Bahamas, has the right to appoint 3 members of the Board of Directors.  The Bahamian public, who has the right to own 20% of the Company, has no right to appoint any members of the Board of Directors.  The Progressive Liberal Party believes the Bahamian people have a right to have a say in the operations of the Port, that it is a slap in the face not to allow a Board of Director position for the Bahamian public who will own 20% of the Company.  The PLP believes the private shareholder group should have 3 seats on the Board of Directors, the Government should have 3 seats on the Board of Directors, and the Bahamian public who owns shares should have the right to appoint 1 seat on the Board of Directors.

The MOU creates a business venture for a small group of companies that cannot fail, and will make the wealthy even richer.  The private ownership group, by controlling the Board of Directors, has the ability to guarantee themselves at least a 10% profit on the Port activities.  The private ownership group has a no lose proposition.  Not only can they guarantee themselves a profit, there is a guarantee that they will be the exclusive operators of any port facility in Nassau.  For 20 years the Arawak Cay Port is to be the sole port and terminal in New Providence and Paradise Island, and this exclusive operations also extend 20 miles from the shoreline of New Providence.  This exclusivity ignores the economic expansion and increased trade policies of the Bahamas in the future.  The Progressive Liberal Party does not agree with the grant to the Arawak Cay Port 20 years of non-competition.  The PLP believes this does not encompass a policy of building and growing the economy of the Bahamas, restricts competition and economic opportunities to Bahamians.  In a time where we are discussing policies about liberalizing certain industries, the Government of the Bahamas is doing just the opposite to satisfy a few private companies when it comes to the Port and the promotion of trade as an economic policy.

The Progressive Liberal Party takes exception to the clauses in the MOU that obligates the Government, in the event it decides it is in the best interest for Bahamians to move the Port, to reimburse the Port Company for not only all costs of moving the Port, but for the value of all buildings and improvements to the Port.   The Progressive Liberal Party finds these provisions contrary to the best interest of Bahamians.  A Government has the responsibility of doing what is in the best interest for its citizens.  If it is in the best interest of Bahamians that the Port be moved to a different location, a Government should not be penalized disproportionately for making that decision.  The PLP believes that any Government that contracts itself against doing what is in the best interest of its citizens, is not a Government for the masses, but only a Government for the few.  

14 COMMENTS

  1. Both the PLP and FNM only work for the rich and well to do. All day suckers they are. Everything in our country run by outsiders. Our ports, airports, telecommunications, passports. We might as well not call ourselves the Bahamas.

  2. Crab you have crab syndrome or crab lice?Atleast I follow someone with a plan and who exacutes, unlike you who just like crab try pulling others down who have a different view than yours.

    • Joey, Jump of the bridge!! Did ya jump? Oh I guess coming from me you’d consider that stupid right. If it was HAI with his bag of tricks saying the same thing you’d consider it a plan. Yes, with no question ask you’d probably be in mid air by now!!!

      Exercise ya mind! Think!

      • This is the Hawksbill Creek Agreement all over again; exclusivity and monopoly. The PLP will have to show its toughness when it gets back into ofice by tearing up the agreement and reloacate the port to Clifton where it was to have gone since 1990. Can you imagine taking some of the best land at the entrance to one of the most natural harbours in the world and turning into a container port/terminal and freight yard? Just by signing the agreement for 90 years for that piece of real estate (Bahamian land being paid for by the taxpayers going back to 1966 when it was first created) has made the operators wealthy. And I do not buy the argument that the PLP took too long to do what they had to do. At least they did not sell out our birthright.Its better nit to have done anything than to do the utterly wrong thing. The FNM has done so and has failed Black Bahamians.

  3. B.P From 2007 I was of the opinion that the port deal was hogwash , if you go back into your archives and look back at my comments on this Tyranical Government it will reveal that way back then I came out against this port deal , it was bad for the Bahamas then and it is bad for the Bahamas now .

    The job that Hubert Came back to do will be completed with the sale of BTC , look at the facts they wanted the port , they got it , they wanted to control the road works they got it , they wanted the airport they got it , and now for the iceing on the cake they hav gotten BTC , look what they have done , but Bahamar is a blessing in disguise at least they will not have that and that is why “Papa” was holding out until the last nail .

    The job has been done , hiden forces within this country has cemented their control of our country for the next 100 years and there is next to nothing that we can do about it , at lease for now !

  4. I want to take you for a walk back to the FNM’s 2007 Election Manifesto 2007.
    They promised Bahamians if elected back to govern the following.
    : To restore trust in government.
    : To ensure domestic security tranquility.
    : To improve public security.
    : To ensure access to land for Bahamians. :
    : To protect and conserve our natural environment.
    : To alleviate poverty.
    : Answering questions asked by the opposition in parliament.
    : Making public in the House of Assembly all agreements with international investors.

    The FNM’s Manifesto made no mention of the Sale of BTC to foreigners, Development of Arawak by a small group of the party faithful, including the Deputy Prime Minister to be; Granting work permits 80,000 Chinese construction workers. Total arrogance toward Bahamians. Creating jobs with fat paycheques for their political friends.

  5. @Joey

    It is sad that there are Bahamians like you who can’t see beyond their political affiliation. It seems as if no matter what garbage the FNM introduce you are quite willing to endorse it. It does not matter who is presenting a plan, it is about how the plan is going to affect you going forward. Quit portraying yourself as an idiot who blindly follows the flawed policies of his political party instead of standing up for justice and fair play for all Bahamians! Idiot!!!

  6. This Arawak Port deal demonstrates the power of the old UBP power brokers, within the FNM’s inner circle. Seems like the FNM’s very own creation for a few of Freeport’s Hawksbill Creek Agreement and Customs Management Act. All that is left is for the cabinet to approve renaming it back to its old name of Kelly Island? They say History repeats itself.

    • The next great leader will be the man/woman who breaks the economic hold of the UBP on this country and sets up a structure that allows for any Bahamian to freely get a piece of the pie.

      There is no way of diversifying the Bahamian economy without doing this.

  7. The best way to do things according to others is the way not chosen.The PLP had all the time in the world to make a port deal they felt was in the best interest of the Bahamas, but they failed the Bahamian people once again,now they have all the answers on the direction the port should go so sad.

    • Yeah Joey your right.

      Bay St, even though its not the economic juggernaut it was say 20,30 or even 40 yrs ago, it still generates a lot of money for its owners.

      When the down town redevelopment project was taking shape under the PLP, the Bay St boys were quietly groaning but couldnt do much because they had no sway within the PLP.

      As soon as the FNM got back in power, the first order of business for Papa was what? The Bay St Port agreement. That was the very first thing Papa did. And now today in parliament, we are just going to find out who the principles are when the deal was struck how long ago now?

      The Bay St boys dont give a flying flip about me or you as long as their business interest are protected. Its the same philosophy of the UBP.

      The PLP moved too slow on to many fronts and i hope they have learned their lesson, but sadly, the damage has already been done!

  8. This port agreement is even more dangerous than the BTC giveaway. The port effectively controls the price and distribution of all goods imported to the Bahamas. The port owners can guarantee themselves a profit margin because they have control of the ports. Any costs will be passed on to Bahamians. What we have here is the beginning of one of the most dangerous operations ever seen in the Bahamas and, as usual, the FNM is more interested in the greed of its political contributors than the welfare of Bahamians.

  9. you show me one party who truly care and i promise i will vote for them all is the same thing working for the rich and kill the poor man, if we cant see that we are blind, every last one sell all the crown lands to the rich and the poor still cannot find a place to call home so please

  10. The FNM party is corrupt,greedy, no compassion, the only people should be voting for them is the rich because they the only one get kick back beside the Haitians. no middle class can be in they right mind and vote for these hug hearts i hope ingrum know this the same country his grand children have to live in. am sure they no what kind of animal he is.

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