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Miller Blasts Govt Over Bpl

Leslie Miller

Leslie Miller

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

TALL Pines MP Leslie Miller yesterday blamed the government for the failures at Bahamas Power and Light and questioned why management at the corporation have not offered a solution to the public for the frequent power outages.

In an interview with The Tribune, Mr Miller said it is obvious that the government “does not believe in Bahamians” because if the Christie administration did, PowerSecure would have never got the approval to manage the former Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC).

Mr Miller said “with all due respect” he believes that PowerSecure was chosen over Bahamians because the investors are “white and foreign.”

The Progressive Liberal Party MP said PowerSecure does not care about the Bahamian people and are only concerned with “collecting money and turning people off”.

“We (the former BEC board) presented our plan to the government and our plan meant that by June 2016 we would have new engines and would have brought the cost of electricity down for all customers, regardless of the price of oil,” Mr Miller, BEC’s former executive chairman, said.

“They say they believe in Bahamians, are you serious? They think God only puts brains in the heads of foreigners? They don’t believe Bahamians could do this? We had a plan, a solid plan. I resent this, this is a slap in the face and there is nothing we can do but bear with it and sweat. They are good at nothing but getting people to pay. It is amazing that nothing has happened since they took over, we did not need foreigners, we could have done this ourselves. Everyday is a damn blackout.

“With the greatest respect we showed the prime minister the plan, it is just a pity they didn’t have faith in us to allow us to do something meaningful for the people.”

Mr Miller also questioned why Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) President Paul Maynard has been speaking on behalf of BPL and why the management has “been so quiet.”

“How the hell is the union president speaking for the company? Where and how does that happen? I don’t understand how Maynard became the chief spokesman and it is insulting that the government allows this man, whose only job is to speak for the union, to speak on behalf of an important entity,” Mr Miller said.

“The management does not want to talk so they are using him. That’s why I had to talk all the time - Mr Maynard speaking is insulting. He should be having a field day, now that his boys are making overtime trying to fix all these outages.”

On Monday, nearly one month after the first set of rental generators secured for BPL arrived in the country, Mr Maynard said the site for the engines had not been prepared and the generators will “probably not be installed for another couple weeks.”

Then on Wednesday, BPL’s Corporate Communications Manager Arnette Ingraham said the company is “hoping” to have the generators installed by the end of “next week.”

Mrs Ingraham also said BPL has been “temporarily patching” its troubled equipment but until its rental generators are installed there is “no way to tell” when frequent power outages will end.

And one week after BPL began daily outage rotations throughout New Providence, she said the corporation is finally in a “safe zone.”

However, there were reports of power outages in New Providence on Wednesday night.

This comes after a summer plagued with frequent blackouts as BPL struggled to keep power supplied.

PowerSecure took over management of BEC earlier this year, which was later renamed BPL.

Comments

Naughtydread 2 years, 7 months ago

This man is honestly disillusion! "They are good at nothing but getting people to pay." So essentially they are doing a better job than you have ever done Mr. Miller. Unfortunately for a company to keep running they actually have to turn a profit, something you know nothing about being that you don't even pay your own electricity bills. How about you keep your damn nose out of private affairs and work on something that might actually benefit the country and its citizens, being that our country is in a full out recession.

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Stameko 2 years, 7 months ago

He's upset that someone closed the lid of the cookie jar like a spoilt child that is told he can't have any more sweets

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MonkeeDoo 2 years, 7 months ago

The Government in one way or another very likely owes BPL 800 million because they probably have not paid an electricity bill since 1968. Schools, Government Offices you name it. If only Wikileaks could get the accounts receivable and bad debts list.

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themessenger 2 years, 7 months ago

Mr Miller said “with all due respect” he believes that PowerSecure was chosen over Bahamians because the investors are “white and foreign.”

Well look where we got with black Bahamians running it for the last fifty years, only foreign white people would be naive enough to (a) buy a run down bankrupt union run corporation & (b) trust our government to not meddle in the affairs of the new owners.

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GrassRoot 2 years, 7 months ago

a high ranking, well decorated, advisor to the current PM, in a private conversation with me over a coffee a few years ago used the term "financial racism". Its not that PowerSecure got chosen because they are "white and foreign", they were chosen because they were "white and foreign and have deep pockets". I would say, what matters is that you have money and are foreign. Then the Government can take your money and do with you whatever they want, like pulling your permits, taking your assets, bending the rules.

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Stameko 2 years, 7 months ago

So Mr. Miller;

  1. when are you going to pay BPL the $400k in past due bills that you and your companies owe ? (preferably not in numbers cash)
  2. when are you going to repay the millions that you owe the likes of Bank of Bahamas
  3. when are you going to repay BPL for all the profits you personally made from contracts that were awarded to family and friends such as your paint company
  4. How many friends and family have you given jobs at BEC who know nothing about working in an electricity company?
  5. Why would we, the Bahamian people trust you with our electricity company? You had a chance to fix it over many many years and it only deteriorated, and in fact BPL is in the state it is in now because of political interference over these many years by people like yourself. it is people like you that are holding the Bahamas back in the dark ages.
  6. and as for your group that would save the day, were the people providing the equipment white and foreign? were the people financing it white and foreign? what was your cut in the deal?

To the Tribune - why is it that we have to read such complete and utter unadulterated rubbish spouted on a regular basis by individuals such as Mr. Miller?. Why can't we read some real news on your front page. Mr. Miller's comments are better suited to rags, tabloid newspapers of the very worst genre.

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BoopaDoop 2 years, 7 months ago

Oh yeah!! That was well said. Nice post!!!

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Socrates 2 years, 7 months ago

i dont know how the US Embassy did not warn Power Secure that they would only be scape goats for the failure and shortsightedness of all our previous governments? BEC like its cousins W&SC and Bahamasair has been providing sh*^y service for decades and now its all suddenly Power Secure's problem? give me a expletive break...

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OMG 2 years, 7 months ago

Shrewd move on Christies part, BPL fails and he can blame the company. BPL succeeds and he can take credit for choosing them. Mr Miller seems to have a mental blockage when it comes to him and others paying their bills.

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alfalfa 2 years, 7 months ago

Despite your collective dislike for Mr. Miller he is correct in one thing, the situation has gotten worse since BPL took over the reigns at BEC. They are now lamenting the fact that the equipment is old, uses expensive fuel, can't get a rate increase, blah, blah, blah. They did not get this deal overnight, and any successful billion dollar business would have performed due diligence, prior to signing an agreement of this magnitude. This brings to question their expertise, and capability, in running and improving that in which they fought so hard to be contracted for. It also says a lot about the governments selection of this company.

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concernedcitizen 2 years, 7 months ago

The government should have chosen one of the companies that wanted to build ,own and operate a new plant and guarantee us a 28cent per kilowatt rate, when you put out 500 million of your own money you work hard to get it back ,,when meters are not spinning an power company is not earning . ..One Powersecure never realized our labour issue or two they are quite content to be paid well to be the fall guy .

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joey 2 years, 7 months ago

there was more black out under Mr Miller than any other chairman in the history of BEC, if you go back and check all the news paper articles his name and this government term will come up more than any other name ever. Go sit down Leslie Miller and pay your big BEC bill.

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