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Call for inquiry into BEC records

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

DESPITE the government’s attempts to pull in the reins on the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, a former Cabinet Minister wants the Christie administration to launch an independent inquiry into BEC’s financial records.

Loftus Roker, who once served as Works Minister with responsibility for BEC, BTC and the Water and Sewage Corporation yesterday insisted that there could be “shocking” details to be uncovered once a probe got underway. However, he would not say specifically to what he referred.

If not, Mr Roker fears that BEC could be on the fast track to mimicking NIB which has been the topic of discussion for months over claims of alleged abuses of power and misuse of funds amongst other things.

He was speaking to reporters at a press conference at the House of Labour on Wulff Road where he also made it clear that he does not support privatising the Corporation to remedy any problems they might have.

Mr Roker said: “I would like to send a message to the Rt Honourable Perry Christie to say that there is something seriously wrong with BEC. He ought to appoint an independent group to find out what is wrong at BEC so that the Bahamian public, who after all owns BEC would know what’s going on.

“He may be shocked to find out. 

“I believe things are happening at BEC. The problem is we just have NIB problems and I am saying that unless we change our habits we are going to be in trouble.”

Last December, Leslie Miller-Chairman told The Tribune that BEC was on the brink of collapse as a result of paying a handful of employees millions in overtime. In total $2,393,152.99 was paid to just 10 employees. Many of BEC’s challenges and excessive surcharges to consumers have also been blamed on fuel costs.  But Mr Roker said he doubts that the cost of fuel has anything to do with their financial position.

Part of the problem, Mr Roker believes, is the inability of civil servants and employees throughout the country to follow a good work ethic or practice discipline while on the job. 

“It seems today that in various government departments, ministries, and corporations that there is a lack of discipline and in some cases a lack of understanding of what the roles are supposed to be. 

“I say that this idea of taking responsibility and obeying rules seems to be lacking in our system.

“I am blaming the leaders for that,” Mr Roker said.

Since taking office, the government, through Mr Miller has sought to cut back on expenditure at BEC. They have sought to trim overtime pay and have plans to require employees to contribute to their own retirement funds.

Comments

jackflash 9 years, 9 months ago

By 'independent inquiry into BEC’s financial records'

Does he mean look into who has paid thier bills, who as not paid thier bills and who owes ha? Or is this anoter selective which hunt which will cost another million?

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John 9 years, 9 months ago

I always wonererd if consmers are paying a surcharge for every additional dollar B.E.C spends on fuel above its 1985 price, then where is the additional revenue that B.E.C takes in going? Sometimes the fuel surcharge as more than the B.E.C bill. Maybe there needs to be an investigation as to who supplys B.E.C with fuel and compare it to market prices. Then why is there no effort to wane his corporation offossil fuels? Every replacement street light should be a solar one that collects energy and feeds into the grid by day and is battery powered by nite. America is not anxious to go solar because it has billions of barrels of oil on reserve and is sitting of millions of tonnes of coal. To promote alternative sources of energy, like solar, will make the cost of electricity go down and result in loss revenue to those who own these reserves. The Bahamas can run at least 80 perent on solar energy..and you dont have to pay no one for it.

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jackflash 9 years, 9 months ago

John is right.

And just think if we built them and the solor biz right here in the Bahamas - it would be something we need and something we could export.

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