By KHRISNA VIRGIL
WITH a general election just three days away, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham yesterday officially opened the new port at Arawak Cay.
Valued at $80,000, the APD employs more than 100 Bahamians.
Mr Ingraham said the APD would also help to facilitate the deconsolidation of large containers at the Gladstone Road Customs Warehouse for importers with less than full container load imports, enabling a larger collection of revenue.
He said: "To put it very bluntly we'll collect more customs revenue because there will be less 'tiefin' going on at the new port."
Calling the event a "red letter day," Mr Ingraham praised the country's latest development for broadening the scope of ownership among Bahamians.
Almost two months ago, more than 11,000 Bahamians bought shares in the company.
Mr Ingraham said the offering, which eventually became oversubscribed, was a part of his administration's long term effort to create a shareholding society in the Bahamas.
"A broad cross-section of Bahamians were afforded the opportunity to purchase shares in a significant sector of the national economy. We have dramatically broadened ownership from the traditional families with surnames like Kelly, Symonette, Bethell, Farrington, Mosko, Wells and Lightbourne."
"The surnames of those who can now own shares in the Arawak Port Development (APD) will run the gamut from A to Z in the telephone directory with surnames like Bain, Rolle, and Smith," Mr Ingraham said.
Apart from being a major aid in alleviating the flow of traffic from downtown Nassau, Mr Ingraham said the opportunities for the now vacant area are endless.
The new port is equipped with an onsite Customs department; three container vessel berths totalling 1,167 linear feet; a 26-foot draft offering shippers lower vessel costs; three container cranes; and a container and cargo pickup and delivery port facility that is open 8am to 4pm Monday through Saturday.