Government taking over is not in Freeport’s best interest – Eye Witness News

Nassau, Bahamas — Former Pine Ridge Rep. Frederick McAlpine doesn’t believe the government should buy the Grand Bahama Port Authority, but he believes the agency’s leadership needs to change.

McAlpine’s comments are meant to help Prime Minister Philip Davis respond to questions about the GBPA on Wednesday to help Grand Bahamas realize its potential after decades of stagnation.

Eyewitness News recognizes that the Davis administration may make significant changes to the GBPA, and understands that officials have held meetings with leaders about the organization’s future since taking office.

However, ministers yesterday declined to comment on the matter, telling EWN the negotiations were sensitive.

McAlpine said:

“I said then and still do that the vision still seems to be lacking and the relationship between the government and the Port Authority seems disjointed.

“If what you have at the top doesn’t seem to be working, I believe it’s time for perhaps Port Authority leadership, shareholders to consider leadership. It’s time for new leadership in the operation of

When asked if the government should encourage the same for ports, McAlpine said no.

“People in the Freeport area, for example, are still not happy with their government collecting their garbage at this time. They are not doing the best job in other jurisdictions.

“We have had some benefits from port authorities, sanitation, water, etc. But there has been a lot of ambiguity over the last 20 years when it comes to developments such as investors meeting their obligations.

“The problem is that shareholders see the partnership between Hutchinson Whampoa and Grand Bahama Port Authority as weakened, causing the organization and company to appear to lack vision and seem incapable. Can we bring in new investors so Grand Bahama can get the uplift it needs financially?”

Free Peoples Movement founder Maurice Moore says government getting GBPA is a thing of the past

But another former Grand Bahamas congressman, Zivalgo Raine, said yesterday that people should think twice about what is possible and what is not.

he said: Whatever a port owns is a private entity. We have private property rights in this country. If a government wants to encourage a port to do something, it can encourage a port to do something, but I’ve heard around the world that governments have decided to require ports to sell. What is the rationale? What makes you want to set that precedent in the Bahamas?

“The Bahamas government has a deficit of almost $1 billion. What is the government going to do to give the ports incentives to sell? Do any of you think? Government taking over is not in Freeport’s best interest – Eye Witness News

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