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Dispute Over Who Should Release Report On Carnival

Former Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe.

Former Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe.

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

NEARLY six weeks after the official Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival economic and revenue report was completed, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe and Bahamas National Festival Commission Chairman Paul Major are at odds over who should release the information to the media.

On Sunday, Mr Wilchcombe told The Tribune that the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival (BNFC) has already briefed Prime Minister Perry Christie on the report and said BNFC officials were still putting the finishing touches on their presentation to the media.

Mr Wilchcombe added: “They want to ensure that all the t’s are crossed and i’s dotted. They have briefed the prime minister, myself and the minister responsible for sports. They intend to make a formal presentation to the media, and it’s very detailed and so they want to make sure all questions can be answered because there was so much involved, all the entertainers, logistics.”

Mr Wilchcombe reportedly told The Nassau Guardian on Wednesday that the report would likely be released by the BNFC yesterday.

However, when contacted Thursday for details on when the report would be released, Mr Major said it was the “government’s responsibility” not his to reveal the findings.

“The report is done but it is the government’s report and they have to release it,” Mr Major told The Tribune.

“They are the principals, it is their carnival and it is their report to speak about.”

Last year, the BNFC released its report on July 28 - just under three months since the Nassau festival closed on May 9, 2015.

Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival was held in Nassau from May 5-7, and in Grand Bahama from April 15-16. Many people, including members of the Official Opposition, have questioned why the government has yet to produce figures on the festival’s financial performance and economic impact.

On July 25, Mr Major confirmed to Tribune Business that he was preparing to present the completed report to the government that same day.

The government spent $11.3 million - $2.3 million over budget - on the inaugural festival, which attracted about 115,000 spectators or participants, employed 7,208 people and benefited 880 small and medium enterprises.

It “gained” $8.3 million in combined direct and tax revenues, with the latter providing $6.7 million of that sum. The direct revenue, which totalled $1.6 million, largely came from ticket sales and cash sponsorships, organisers said.

The BNFC faced strong criticism last year for going over-budget and a lack of proper planning, and promised a more “focused” marketing approach for this year’s festival. The BNFC previously said funding for this year’s festival would be roughly $7 million.

Comments

DDK 3 years, 1 month ago

On second thought, ridiculous is more like it!

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alfalfa 3 years, 1 month ago

Obie Wilchcomebe and Paul Major. I don't know which of Bonnie and Clyde or Abbott and Costello, are the appropriate comparison. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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TalRussell 3 years, 1 month ago

Comrades! Flashback to a June 15, 2015 (promissory) statement made by none other than the Comrade Chairman of BNFC. As of Monday, 'June 15, 2015' By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net.

ALTHOUGH it is well past the 21-day self-imposed deadline Bahamas National Festival Commission Chairman Paul Major gave for the release of Junkanoo Carnival revenue and economic impact figures, the data has yet to be released.
When contacted about this yesterday, Mr Major said the (BNFC) is not ready to release the report.
When pressed to give an exact date for the report’s release, (he) said (he) didn’t want to put a date or time on it, but vowed that the waiting was almost over.
It would be best to say soon,” said Mr Major.
He added: “When (we) are done with the reports (we) will put all the information out there, but (we) aren’t ready yet.

Comrades, did Major's 'who should release the report' mandate change between J une 15, 2015 and September 1, 2016 and if so, produce the memo? Likes I keep saying, why even bother make this stuff up.

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ohdrap4 3 years, 1 month ago

easy: the ministry of health people who went on vacation were supposed to release the reporte, but they were not told that until they saw it in the newspaper.

As a result, 200 webshops failed to open because the bahamar deal was sealed.

in the meantime, the atlantis 'racing turtle' arrived ahead of them all.

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Honestman 3 years, 1 month ago

Everyone trying to cover their a$$ and develop the spin. Classic Bahamian politics.

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screwedbahamian 3 years, 1 month ago

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the " RESULTS ARE NOT GOOD" if they were the PM would have made the announcement many weeks ago. The Bahamian people need to say enough is enough to these jokers and the Media have got to Hound these people for public information like the media in other progressive countries do "PATHETIC"

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Honestman 3 years, 1 month ago

How many US$ did Carnival earn us and how much did it cost the tax payer? That's all we need to know!

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TalRussell 3 years, 1 month ago

Comrade Honestman's, the math does not tell no lie. Factoring in the minimum wage worker who earn a $210 weekly wage, and for a domestic worker lucky if they earns a $150 weekly wage, if we combine the two low wage earners it equates to each and every worker stretching across we Bahamaland, having to slug away at their respective jobs for, "four (4) back breaking weeks" just to pay off what it costs to fund the Kanaval's held to date. How can they still run in 2017, claiming to be the Pindling/Milo party of the poor working man's and woman's?

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OMG 3 years, 1 month ago

Delaying tactics, nothing more.

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MonkeeDoo 3 years, 1 month ago

Why can't Major and Wilchcombe be jailed until the report is produced. And if the books don't balance one or both could stay up so for ten years,

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MonkeeDoo 3 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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