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Lloyd: Concerns Over Travel Are Nonsense

EDUCATION Minister Jeff Lloyd.

EDUCATION Minister Jeff Lloyd.

By Khrisna Russell

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

EDUCATION Minister Jeffrey Lloyd defended the government’s travel history yesterday as Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and a delegation continue a trip at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London.

Previously, Dr Minnis and a group, including Mr Lloyd, were in Lima, Peru where the nation’s leader addressed the CEO Summit of the Americas.

While in opposition, the Free National Movement routinely chastised the former Christie administration for its frequent travel and related expenses. Critics have now returned the favour and are questioning not only the cost to the public purse for these recent trips, but have raised concerns on the number of people included in the official delegations.

Speaking to reporters outside Cabinet yesterday, Mr Lloyd dismissed these concerns as “nonsense”.

He further slammed Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Fred Mitchell who suggested the Minnis administration has been refusing to accept funding from a private donor to construct a new building to house a pre-school at the Sandilands Primary School. He said Mr Mitchell had been misleading in his public comments on the situation.

“We travel nowhere that we are not required to travel,” Mr Lloyd said. “For instance, the government of The Bahamas is the chair of the Inter-American Committee at the Organisation of American States. That’s required. We are the chair. We are required to be at a number of meetings around the region in order to advance the commitments we made.

“We made these commitments at the Organisation of American States’ meeting in 2015 and again in this country in 2017, that’s our commitment. We made the commitment that we would be at the forefront of seeing that our people understand that learning is a lifelong process, that we are focused and committed to delivering early childhood education that we are focused and committed on developing our educational professionals.

“These are the commitments that we made, so we must be at these meetings because we are the chair. We are facilitating it. The prime minister obviously has got to be at the Summit of the Americas. He’s got to be at CHOGM.

“There is no meeting that we attend that we don’t have to be at and matter of fact there are a host of requests and opportunities for meetings that we turn town simply because first of all we’ve got to again go back to being judicious and prudent in the expenditure of the public funds, but it isn’t absolutely necessary for us to be there. So, I don’t pay attention to those who criticise the whatever you want to call it.”

He continued: “We don’t consider ourselves to be travelling more extensively than is required and we’re not going to do so because we understand the state of our financial affairs and we also understand our obligations to the international community of which have freely chosen to be apart and of to whom we’ve made commitments. So, I dismiss that nonsense.”

Regarding the Sandilands matter, Mr Lloyd said this situation had been left to linger under the former Christie administration.

He said: “It’s nonsense and I also understand although I can’t verify, that we in the Ministry of Education as it were, staunching and resisting in this expenditure . . . nonsense, foolishness. Let’s call it for what it is.

“Anybody who wants to make a donation to the Ministry of Education must come to the minister of education and if there must be an approval for any building and so on it must come across the minister’s desk and I haven’t seen any.

“As a matter of fact I believe the person or the company that they are talking about I had a conversation yesterday because we flew in the plane from Miami and invited me to understand what the previous process had been when in fact it was the previous administration who failed to follow up on opportunities for the building of the pre-school. So (it’s) absolutely nonsense.

“You see this is my beloved brother and friend of over 50 years. (The) honourable Fred Mitchell, come on man, we go back decades. Come to me if you want to have a sharing of what it is that is best for education, but don’t misrepresent to the Bahamian people because it’s not true.”

Comments

BahamasForBahamians 6 months, 1 week ago

IF there is no issue with traveling - why did your administration make it in an issue in opposition Jeffrey? Was it convenient to do so pending the elections ?

Enjoy your travel now sir, you may be back to selling hope and giving sermons come 2022.

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realfreethinker 6 months, 1 week ago

It became an issue because your boys were traveling every week without any accounting for it and nothing of substance came out of the trips. We still waiting on the promised report on the vatican,london and indonesia junket Perry promised us.

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BahamasForBahamians 6 months, 1 week ago

You're correct.. These are my boys are in government now..wasting money on travel.. After pointing fingers a year ago for the others boys doing the same.. recipe to become the opposition again.

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realfreethinker 6 months, 1 week ago

It won't be opposition to the plp though

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DDK 6 months, 1 week ago

You Government Ministers, like those of the previous Government, travel too damn much at The People's expense, Minister Lloyd. The nonsense is your refusal to admit it. You tend to forget that the people who elected you, as well as those who did not, have to pay for your globe trotting.

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observer2 6 months, 1 week ago

A lot of hot air.

Just disclose in the Tribune the amount of money that the Peru trip costs the Bahamian taxpayer.

Once we know how much it costs we can make up our own minds if you are wasting our money or not. Simply telling use that you are responsible reminds me of the PLP and the former FNM government. Ain nuttin change.

But because we have no idea how much it costs, we can only assume it costs over $1 million dollars, that it was a joy ride, we will get absolutely no benefit from it and it will only make us more angry.

On second thought, don't tell us and let us live in blissful ignorance. So much for transparency.

Lol, we don't even care what you learned from the OAS meetings. We know nothing will be implemented to improve the country.

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DDK 6 months, 1 week ago

Maybe they think the electorate are so stupid they think these jaunts to South America, Europe and who knows where else are like an overnight trip to Miami! Give them a chance and they will find a reason to go to The World Cup in Moscow! It would be most educational.

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licks2 6 months, 1 week ago

Just seeing the nonsense talk on this site shows that either they dumb and stupid or we playing the thing with them two big ears!! I hope doc and his team leave this illiterate and ungrateful backsides after this term. I want to see all of us "know how to run a government" loud mouth run yinna broke down country.

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DonAnthony 6 months, 1 week ago

I like Jeff Lloyd but he is tone deaf on this issue. This government like the last is traveling too much. We want a full accounting of the travel costs of every trip paid for by taxpayer dollars. Who is going first class and who is going coach? Why are we paying for all these spouses? If I am paying for it I have a right to see the costs. The FNM ignores this issue at their own peril, it makes them look like hypocrites and like we voted out the last government we can easily vote them out. We demand transparency and accountability, which the FNM promised but so far have failed to deliver.

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licks2 6 months, 1 week ago

Dumb DNA. . .the PLP will not say something silly as this. . .if you think I een know what I saying. . .watch birdie and Tal. . .they of talking some other dumb crap. . .but not that they traveling too much. . . like you know what needs to be done!!

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BahamasForBahamians 6 months, 1 week ago

DonAnthony2 - and the rest of the intellectuals amongst us. Please ignore all comments by the ignorant account poster above us. Given that eileen carron and team are inactive in banning this IP address for his lack of sound contributions to the comments it has been suggested and agreed that everyone would ignore this FNM hack.

Doing so is in your best interest and optimizes the time you've allotted to spend on this website and its comments.

Licks2 is here to defend anything this failing administration does - regardless if it means offending someone who supports his party that may actually have a sound view.

Folks like them see nothing beyond party colors and as such we ignore them...

@DonAnthony you are 100% in your observation.. its okay though.. Governments usually don't get the message until post election day.. at which point the licks2 should've also disappeared.

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licks2 6 months ago

Hahahahahahahaha. . . I defend them and you oppose them at every turn. . .sound reasoning or not! But then you want me banned for my views and you allowed free reigned to express yours? Then you ask for freedom of information act or whistle blowers acts? The tribune can ban me if they want. . .ONLY THING THEY WILL DO BY DOING SO. . .YOUR REPRESSIVE THINKING WILL BECOME THE ORDER OF THE DAY!!

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joeblow 6 months, 1 week ago

"...we can easily vote them out."

But who can we vote in?? There are no credible options. We need a change in leadership!

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birdiestrachan 6 months, 1 week ago

It is to bad the former Deacon has perfected the art of spin. He calls right wrong and wrong right. Moultrie the speaker was dead wrong but he called him right. The OBAN fake signing was a sham but he has no problems with it. It is fair to say he is not becoming of a former Deacon. But he will learn soon enough that the God of Abraham is a just judge. and what profit is there when integrity is lost??

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sheeprunner12 6 months, 1 week ago

The international trips are necessary ....... they are not wasted ......... We are not N.Korea.

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hrysippus 6 months, 1 week ago

Was Minnis paid for his speech? If so, How much, and who got the money? Speakers generally get very well paid for keynote speeches at events such as this one. Did Minnis get paid his pm's salary and all expenses for him and his entourage by the Bahamian tax payer and then did he get paid again. Inquiring minds want to know.

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licks2 6 months ago

Do you understand what is going on here? Apparently not. . .

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ThisIsOurs 6 months, 1 week ago

I like Mr Lloyd but I must admit I'm surprised at his comments. I recall listening to his talk show in the run up to the election where he told PM Christie that he must answer to the people or else. The people are concerned about large delegations and frequent travel and abuse of the travel budget, the answer cannot be, WE think this is quite fine, stop making noise

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bogart 6 months, 1 week ago

The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is not just Nassau..where steam ships used to visit twice a month bringing .foreign persons to visit and climate good for health reasons ....it is a part of the global community......joining it in myriad of ways....it has to be there to take, confirm, negotiate challenge for its share of business, interests etc... as a world player and holding leadership positions as many Bahamians do in many roles in international organizations. What is desperately needed is a contract for jet services, or partial ownership of long range jet, or lease which can be used for Bahamas air also.....we need to stop sitting amd waiting for foreign investments and go out and get it ... We could start with a Piaggio avanti..or gulfstream.....or cessna c..fastest..or brazilian embraer phenom.good operating specs..or even the 4million honda jet...times have changed and we need to have our flag painted on a plane showing our presence.....

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ThisIsOurs 6 months, 1 week ago

Nobody said they can't travel. People are asking why did all these people have to go, what seat class did they travel in, how much was the hotel bill, PER Person, we don't want a consolidated number, what contribution did this person make, where's the report they wrote when they got back. I'm sorry but I can't see Jack and Jill, marital rape is a private matter, causing Mrs Curry to resign, ill advised, on radio, breathless defense of Dr Minnis, Lanisha making any sensible contribution to any discussion.

All people asked is, please explain the necessity of the travel, maybe they needed 50 and only 20 could make it, tell us.

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Greentea 6 months, 1 week ago

Lanisha mussey speak Spanish eh? Acting like a translator perhaps? lol.

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TalRussell 6 months, 1 week ago

Did Comrade Jeff - just dismiss as poppycock nonsense the concerns how money is being spent from public purse - echoing from mindsets the 91,409 voting red on 10th May 2017? What a joke has taken place in just days short one year anniversary red shirts governing mandate.The red party must reset and if they're smart they will demote Jeff to the most basic pay scale of an elected MP. Prolong the House and select new leadership team - even if it risks having sacked cabinet ministers cross the House floor over join opposition.

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joeblow 6 months, 1 week ago

These are the comments of a detached one term MP!

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ThisIsOurs 6 months, 1 week ago

Yup, disappointing. They honestly need to take a step back, all of them, and examine the statements they made before the election then let someone read their comments this past year back to them as a group. Don't attach names, just let someone read the comments so they can see how they sound.

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Socrates 6 months ago

people traveling at other folks expense will always be an issue. even in America they have questions about these things all the time. so lets not waste too much time addressing something that will not be fixed.. work on finding some jobs and lowering cost of my power bill. that would be time better spent.

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sheeprunner12 6 months ago

Sooooo, how should the national leaders forge working relationships with other national leaders????? ...... Use Whatsapp and FB or Twitter like Trump?????

Travel is necessary ........... and effective bi-lateral relations can bring The Bahamas big benefits ....... Like a new British HC in Nassau after 20 years closed ......... Please stop complaining when it is a part of every country's foreign policy ....... If it brings results, it is good ....... If it is excessive like Fweddy, it is not.

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ThisIsOurs 6 months ago

Straw man argument. Nobody said they can't travel.

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