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Govt Was 'Not Hiding' $25m Grand Lucayan Equity Stake

Grand Lucayan

Grand Lucayan

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRESS Secretary Anthony Newbold yesterday could not explain why ministers failed to discuss the $25m budget for an equity stake in the Grand Lucayan Resort during the budget debate in the House of Assembly last month.

"Not really," he said when asked if the administration tried to hide the allocation.

"Lots of numbers are placed in the budget, they aren't necessarily spelt out. It's not something you hide from the Bahamian people forever. And it's not a matter of hiding, it's just there; whenever we need to talk about it, we have in this budget $25m to bring it to a close."

Under questioning by Progressive Liberal Party Senator Dr Michael Darville, Free National Movement senators revealed the allocation in the Senate last week Monday.

Attorney General Carl Bethel said the government is still negotiating with the Toronto-based Wynn Group for the sale and revival of the property.

"The Bahamas government, this government indicated publicly we will negotiate and purchase it ourselves," he said at the time.

"If no one else wants to do it, we are not going to allow to happen to the Lucayan strip what was allowed to happen to the heart of downtown Freeport with the Royal Oasis hotel. We came in and we said we are not going to allow that to happen. So, no one was on the table and said we would buy it. We'll buy it, we'll fix it and we'll get it open. We intended to do it by the end of 2017. As soon as we came forward, all of a sudden everyone who was sitting on their hands playing cute got serious and negotiations commenced."

During yesterday's briefing, Mr Newbold also said Environment Minister Romi Ferreira is in possession of a "complete analysis of the whole aragonite situation that will speak to the possible economic value of aragonite."

"It's one of these topics we've been hearing about for the last six years," he said. "We should hear more about that, quite possibly as we should about the new operators of the New Providence Landfill by the end of July."

Mr Newbold was also asked about Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis' decision to shuffle his Cabinet. He echoed Dr Minnis' statement that he is confident in all his ministers and did not directly answer questions about concerns over Lanisha Rolle who will become youth, sports and culture minister after a tenure as social services minister.

Comments

birdiestrachan 1 year, 2 months ago

ACE is a waste of Tax payers money. He knows nothing, and he has no answers for anything,

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TalRussell 1 year, 2 months ago

Ma Comrades, being this is a Royal firing of an entire government matter, I've done just dispatched by special Taxi - a copy of public affirmation that not one Imperial Red Shirts is willing step forward explain to PeoplePublic - why the PM, KP, nor Dionisio James, would bother explain the missing $25 million from budget for an equity stake in the Grand Lucayan Resort during the budget debate in the House of Assembly last month. Please, Your Excellency, you need pull plug on this wicked undercover governing mandate... and you don't need ask Queen her Royal consent to fire. Motivates asks, what equity stake IN MILLIONS DOLLARS have Imperial red shirts ALSO committed to in OBAN?

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John 1 year, 2 months ago

Actually commenting on this article should have been disabled. But for us who know better, it wasn’t done because this is actually ‘Fake News!’

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sangeej 1 year, 2 months ago

Say missing $25 million, lol!

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BahamaLlama 1 year, 2 months ago

You cannot buy a hotel of that size for $25M, and no-one is more likely to buy it a) knowing the government is involved, and b) for the $100M+ renovation and repairs just being $25M less. But most importantly, it's not the government's place to get involved in business, or in nationalising private property - this isn't Zimbabwe or Venezuela.

If the government really wants to get serious, legislate for a (reasonable) Vacancy Tax. The only way they're going to sell this disaster of a hotel is if it will cost more in the long-term to keep it derelict than to open it.

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proudloudandfnm 1 year, 2 months ago

If no one is interested then government needs to take it over and run it WHILE they try to sell it.

Whatever they decide they need to hurry the hell up! WE NEED OUR HOTELS OPENED NOW!!!

No more stupid non anouncements either. You're killing us with all this soon shit.

DO SOMETHING NOW!

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TalRussell 1 year, 2 months ago

Ma Comrades. will this be Red Flag that gets the Red Shirts MP's ran clear off island Grand Bahamaland.... You'd think Imperial Red Shirts Cabinet are at limits their Red Flag disappointments.... and why hasn't Minnis and KP not come back right away to clarify the $25 million to Grand Bahamalanders.... { Ain't no making up yet another Red Shirts Red Flag }. Does anyone remember what, if any, were the Shadow Ministries held by Minnis whilst in official opposition... first, remember, the man's was known his constant long stretches absenteeism from House of Assembly... some say twas' laziness affecting his ability stayed focused... Here's hint, certainly wasn't as shadow prime minister?

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