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Miller: Albany Offer Was No Good For The Country

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Leslie Miller

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

THE $700m offered by the principal developers of Albany to fix the issues surrounding the former Bahamas Electricity Corporation "would not have benefited the Bahamian people," according to former BEC Executive Chairman Leslie Miller.

Mr Miller said it was his understanding the plan was for Albany "to build its own plant" and sell electricity back to the government. He said developers of the luxury resort community would have made a profit but the electricity bills would have still been high and BEC would have been owned by foreigners, something he said "is never good for this country."

On Tuesday, Albany's Managing Partner Christopher Anand revealed that Joe Lewis and his Tavistock Group, the principal developers of the $1.4 billion project, offered the former Progressive Liberal Party government $700m to correct the problems at BEC and the city landfill.

However, Mr Anand said for "some reason" the offer was never accepted.

During a tour of the luxury property, with Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and members of his Cabinet, Mr Anand in an impassioned speech railed against what he described as "two and a half years of banging our heads against the wall".

He urged the Minnis administration to "work with them" to solve the problems plaguing the electricity company as well as the consistent burning at the New Providence Landfill.

In response, Dr Minnis told reporters: "We look for the best deal possible that is in the best interest of the Bahamian people."

When contacted by The Tribune yesterday, Mr Miller said: "Come on man, they don't care about us or giving us electricity, they care about their bottom line and making a profit.

"I mean, I don't know everything but from what I understand they wanted to produce their own power. They wanted to put up their own plant and run BEC or sell BEC the electricity.

"These foreigners don't care about us, they care about making money. They had a plan but it would not have benefitted the Bahamian people. Why would they be concerned about lowering the cost of our electricity? They don't give a damn about us, it is our problem and we have to solve our own problem and stop depending on these foreigners to save us, that is why we are in the problems we are in now. I don't understand why we can't sit down with our people who have expertise in the area, why do we keep doing this. It is their money and their investment and their motive is simple, it's profit."

American company PowerSecure was contracted to take over management at the government-owned utility provider in early 2016, which was renamed Bahamas Power and Light.

The new management deal was promoted by the Christie administration as being the answer to sub-par electricity service and high electricity bills.

However, the country has still been plagued with repeated power outages, especially in the summer months.

Recurrent fires have been a longstanding problem at the city dump.

Comments

242gyal 3 years, 5 months ago

Why does this crooked disgusting human still have a voice. One of the many diseased parasites of this country. Tribune. No one cares.

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Romrok 3 years, 5 months ago

All these years of the Bahamian Government hasn't done anything for the Bahamian people's BEC bills either.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 5 months ago

I'd be wary too, when someone offers you 700 million free of charge, it's probably not free of charge. Or maybe it is, but just because it's 700 million it's not something to jump at and grab without thorough analysis. For the economists, how many years would that investment take to be paid back and produce an appropriate return for the given risk?

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Socrates 3 years, 5 months ago

shocking revelation by Miller.. didn't know businesses are supposed to be concerned about profit... can't wait for tomorrow's lesson.... wonder what his motive is for running his business(es)?

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Reality_Check 3 years, 5 months ago

This brain dead self-confessed woman slapper not too long ago wanted to make our country's electrical power needs dependent on supplies of oil from Venezuela. Just think where we would be today had that silly and foolish idea been given the time of day!

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NewPatriot 3 years, 5 months ago

I would honestly love for my fellow Bahamians to stop simply reacting without doing some research. Similar to Mr. Miller, I don't know everything. What I do know is that the government has let BEC fall apart. Who's knows if it's even operating at a profit and the electricity costs continue to lower the standard of living in this country and the ease of doing business? If the Albany developers wanted to build their own plant it would have created construction jobs for Bahamians to get it off the ground, then engineering jobs for Bahamians to keep it running. They absolutely would benefit from decreasing the electric costs for their own property because they have to pay these bills as well. It's mutually beneficial to both the Bahamian people as well as foreign investors to fix this issue. Yes, Bahamians would no longer have control of BEC but considering we've controlled it for this and it's a mess maybe privatizing the industry would be a good thing. BEC needs a competitor in the market!

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