Minnis: $200m corruption losses a conservative estimate

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.


Tribune Staff Reporter


PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday he was being “conservative” with his estimation when he said The Bahamas loses $200m a year to corruption.

His statement came during a press conference at the Lynden Pindling International Airport after trips to Peru and the United Kingdom.

He said he chose the $200m figure after considering general global estimations of the cost of corruption which peg it at five to ten per cent of a country’s gross domestic product, as revealed during the Summit of Americas.

“It was pointed out by the world leaders that about five to ten per cent of a nation’s GDP is lost through corruption and in some cases it’s as high as 30 per cent,” he said. “When you look at The Bahamas with a GDP of about $10bn, if we were to take the lower of the world’s figure which is five per cent, that would mean The Bahamas loses approximately $500m per annum as a result of corruption. I was very, very conservative when I said corruption in The Bahamas is probably $200m, which was below the world’s figures.

“If you want the true figure, if The Bahamas’ GDP is $10bn, if you look at the lower limit because we are a religious nation so let’s put ourselves at the lower level, you talking about $500m.

“What is also significant is it was pointed out if you were to take corruption as an issue and make any dent that in itself could increase your economy; that’s an economic stimulus so more money is available for schools, for hospitals, for jobs and that is why the entire world is looking at this factor to use as another factor to boost economic growth and development. Corruption, or monies taken out of the system, is essentially an illegal form of taxation on the poor, the public and investors and that must be dealt with appropriately.”

Dr Minnis was criticised by Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip “Brave” Davis for “badmouthing” The Bahamas abroad with his talk of corruption. But he said yesterday the theme of the summit in Peru was corruption, suggesting the topic was unavoidable. He made the $200m remark to a reporter on the sidelines of the summit in Peru.

“The theme in Peru was anti-corruption and all nations present, including the United States, would’ve made their contributions in terms of corruption and The Bahamas being a part of the world order would’ve made its contribution also, informing the world what we have done, our progression in terms of contribution to anti-corruption and every country would have done similarly,” he said. “What was amazing is all of us would’ve basically been on the same track coming out with the same type of legislation.”

Regarding criticism from the opposition in particular, he said those critics were speaking in the dark.

“I went through it slowly so the opposition would understand what I said,” he said. “He should not be speaking in the dark. I’ll always remember a very excellent quote, I cannot remember the author but I love the quote and it states, ‘I would prefer to get punched in the face by the truth than kissed on the cheeks by lies.’ You understand that.”


SP 5 years, 7 months ago

This is nothing new. Everyone agrees that corruption is the biggest problem in the Bahamas. However, having a prime minister focusing on rooting out corruption is new. Former untouchable pirates are now trying to figure out how to run for cover in this new global culture of stamping out corruption.

Corruption has always been, and will always be present in every country. There is no such thing as a country without corruption. The "level" of corruption and how countries address corruption are determining factors.

PM Minnis revised statement estimating corruption at $500M annually unquestionably caused multiple secret conversations among several small groupings of the so-called "elite" pirates that have thus far gotten away with this massive graft at the detriment of the entire country!

Please carry on PM Dr. Minnis. We the people have been eagerly awaiting confirmation of the identity of these pirates that have been robbing the country blind for more than 7 decades. We hope and pray you find them, defrock them, strip away stolen assets, and jail them for their crimes.


joeblow 5 years, 7 months ago

This is a gross underestimate. If the gov't loses $100 million in healthcare alone, not factoring in what has been lost/stolen or misappropriated through Road Traffic, Immigration, Social services, road works, audits, government consultants, leases for gov't rental spaces, concessions to attract foreign investments, pre-election payoffs to civil servants etc., you easily eclipse $500 million.

However, Minnis should not speak off the cuff, he should only communicate through pre-approved press releases until he has a better grasp of what is going on!


bogart 5 years, 7 months ago

....you forgot Crown Lands. give aways beachfront sold for vacation homes for a few thousands .and resold for almost a million....taxi plates franchise rented out...monetary harm from bad contracts granted but also NOT granted....loans granted but NOT also granted.....damage to foreign invrstors who be have been the best choice but NOT chosen....ftcetcetc


sheeprunner12 5 years, 7 months ago

Corruption really means ........ a greedy, selfish Bahamian person who takes proceeds of Government assets (tangible or monetary) and uses them for their own gain or advancement in society ......... But most of these "assets" are really recycled in the country and it is difficult to measure by any scientific means (because it is hush money) ....... The most obvious means is the continuous borrowing of FX to cover "bills" ...... or under-reporting of Government departments based on obvious data (300,000 Class A car licenses = $58.5million)


Sign in to comment