By SANCHESKA DORSETT
Tribune Staff Reporter
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.