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Minnis: I Was Honest On Oban Deal

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, left, with Peter Krieger, non-executive director of Oban Energies. Photo: Yontalay Bowe/OPM Media Services

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, left, with Peter Krieger, non-executive director of Oban Energies. Photo: Yontalay Bowe/OPM Media Services

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis says he was “upright” and “honest” in publicly addressing concerns about the Oban Energies oil refinery and storage project planned for Grand Bahama.

In the face of calls for his resignation from Progressive Liberal Party Deputy Leader Chester Cooper, who over the weekend alleged the prime minister misled Parliament on the matter, Dr Minnis maintained he told the truth, adding that the only element he did not reveal was that the heads of agreement signing for the project at his office was ceremonial.

And as push back continues to mount over the proposed project, Dr Minnis also told reporters yesterday he does not know when the environmental impact assessment for the development will begin. The Bahamas Environmental Science and Technology Commission (BEST), which provides guidelines for EIAs for developments in the Bahamas, is under Dr Minnis’ portfolio.

Asked by The Tribune why he did not reveal the deal involved 690 acres of Crown land leased from the government to build Oban’s refinery, the prime minister said: “I was very specific when I addressed the Bahamian people and I was upright and honest with them and now the environmentalists are dealing with the issue. The heads of agreement speaks for itself.”

Oban Energies President Satpal Dhunna revealed last week the company will lease 690 acres of Crown land from the government to build the facility. Until that point, the acreage promised to the company under a lease agreement was an unknown detail.

After the prime minister’s much-awaited mid-year budget speech last week, critics said key questions about the oil refinery and storage project remain unanswered.

Dr Minnis at the time said the beneficial owner of Oban Energies LLC is the K Family Irrevocable Trust. However, he gave no details about the people behind this trust. In addition, although funding concerns were cited as the chief reason the project went nowhere under the last Ingraham administration, Dr Minnis provided no proof of this.

Centreville MP Reece Chipman, who was recently fired as chairman of the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation, has also expressed concerns that the area where the project is slated to be built is a cultural site.

To this, Dr Minnis said: “I spoke to the Oban issue in Parliament. I was very, very thorough with what I said and every now and again the PLP throw lil’ daggers at me. I would only say to them be careful. Be careful, don’t throw.

“I tell him be careful too,” he said specifically in response to Mr Cooper.

Yesterday evening, Mr Cooper responded to Dr Minnis, questioning if the prime minister’s words were a threat.

“I hope the prime minister’s words do not constitute any threat,” Mr Cooper said in a statement. “However, out of an abundance of caution, I feel compelled to report this matter to the police.”

The Nassau Guardian reported yesterday that more than a month after Peter Krieger, Oban’s then non-executive chairman, said an environmental impact assessment would begin in 45 days, the BEST Commission has still not started work on the EIA.

Responding on this issue, Dr Minnis seemed to dodge the question by saying: “The environmental entity, the EIA, that’s all spelled out in the heads of agreement, when it starts and different things I don’t know.”

Comments

proudloudandfnm 1 year, 7 months ago

Um. You lying about it being ceremonial. Damn dude...

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proudloudandfnm 1 year, 7 months ago

Time for Minnis to retire. You have given this country nothing. Your being PM is a liability. Please just step down and let an actual leader take over. Do it for your country....

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 7 months ago

Just about anyone but the ill-tempered and arrogant Doc!

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licks2 1 year, 7 months ago

OR YOU MEAN THE DOC WHO YOU CAN'T CONTROL? Oh ye politician. . can't ye see that the very thing that make thee such to hate your PM is the very thing that make his masses to love him! You have yourself a major problem there fella!! And the doc that is now PM is much more powerful than the doc that was not PM. . .many a men did not depend on him for their bread and supported him all the way to the house! Now think how much more shall he be more entrenched in their "selfish hearts" since now he has the power of their bread. . .they will protect him from you all. . .that's how global politics is done. Only our Great King of all Planet Earth, Jesus of the Jews and his father, the Great God of the Jews will determine when the leader is "taken down". . .

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 7 months ago

Why is everybody worried about the false signing? It wouldn't matter if both "copies" were notarized by the Pope. The real issue is that we get ZERO cents per barrel of oil flowing through the out pipe.

$0.00 per barrel of oil for ordinary 5 year Bahamian voters.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 7 months ago

We are worried because the dimwitted Doc was all too easily made to look like the fool that he apparently is.

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 7 months ago

So if he did NOT look like and fool AND you got no money in your pocket, then that is OK? My landlord trying to find me now - I need money. Glad to know you don't.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 7 months ago

In other words, you would take money from the devil to pay your rent or otherwise justify your means. Good luck my friend...you're gonna need it.

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licks2 1 year, 7 months ago

No Sir. . .that is not why you are rowing. . .because the entire business world is wondering the same thing. . .WHAT YINNA BAHAMIANS CARRYING ON ABOUT. . .BUSINESS IS DONE LIKE THAT ALL OVER THE WORLD. . .SO WHAT HAPPENED DIFFERENT IN THIS DEAL"? You are carrying on because YOU HAVE NOTHING WITH SENSE TO CARRY ON ABOUT. . .BUT YOU FEEL LIKE YOU MUST CARRY ON TO BE RELEVANT! i GUESS THAT;S I WHY YOU SOUND SO DUMB TO US. . .PERHAPS TO YOU AS WELL. . .BUT AS THEY SAY. . .POLITICS MAKE STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 7 months ago

Doc does not know what honesty is. He was not honest about OBAN. It is my hope that he is not threating anyone. No one should believe anything that comes out of his mouth Daggers at him?? he is the one throwing daggers at the people who voted for him and thinks it is all right.

He lied about VAT. Tax free zones (Bains Town No OBAN yes) free university education he was going to sell BAH MAR that was not for sale/ But he can not sell Our Lucaya that is for sale. He may still be going to Grand Bahama to wine dine and dance. good going doc.

I am beginning to be afraid of doc if he threatens Mr Cooper ?? Lord help poor me.. ;

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 7 months ago

He does look afraid in this picture. But who is the overjoyed woman"??

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Porcupine 1 year, 7 months ago

Someone happy to have her picture taken with a clown.

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joeblow 1 year, 7 months ago

Has the dictionary definition of "honest" been changed recently, or was that a misuse of the word?

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abe 1 year, 7 months ago

mhmhttp://ow.ly/eh2230e4g8d" width="1" height="1" />

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John 1 year, 7 months ago

This OBan deal still stinks and Minnis keeps getting oiled. Minnis needs to get some more experienced minds to refine and fine tune the deal to prevent Bahamians getting screwed again. Twenty five pennies on the barrel will not hurt a five billion dollar refinery. And why do you have to ‘gift’ them the land (690 acres leased at a million a year????). Nd who knows what condition it will be in after they are done with it.

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licks2 1 year, 7 months ago

TWO OTHER THINGS PROTECTS US FROM ANY SWING. . .IT IS AN american-BASED COMPANY. . .AND WE KNOW THE US "SNEER" ON POLLUTION. . .AND WE CAN ALWAYS TAKE THEM TO US COURTS OF LAW! FURTHER MORE, THE TECHNOLOGY FOR SUCH ENTERPRISES IS SO MUCH BETTER THAT 50 YEARS AGO WHEN HESS OIL BUILT THE BIGGEST REFINERY IN THE WORLD RIGHT IS ST CROIX ISLAND!

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 7 months ago

Oh please, how long did it take for the BEC bribe taker, (can't remember his name) the insurance guy, to be tried. Meanwhile we left with the fallout of that bribe, inefficient aged engines and unreliable power. Nothing protects us from swing but a well executed process. And this een it. They bending over backwards to bypass all the checks put in place.

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bobneville 1 year, 7 months ago

if you losers will pay more attention to your family and learn how to work for what you want and have, you would'nt have time to stick your nose in other people bussiness, thats right fools ,oban have nothong to do with you,it is a private bussiness;and really dosent concern you,nobody picked you to protect the land of the bahamas,this land is very well procted,by two of the greatest nations in the world,for your info you all are not bahamians get that thru your stupid skull;we can only profit from oban,and the way to do that,is to keep you stupid losers as far away from it as they can;the pm was honest when he told you haters that he told you all he knew.why because that is all they told him, not his cabinet, just him, and they really did;nt have to tell him,so you go figure,you thought it looked hopeless before,wait until you hear who the real owner is,then everything will make sense that is if you fools got any,so you can see your crooked little world crumbling,so you take it out on the pm,wrong one more later,

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 7 months ago

Seriously? He couldn't do an Internet search and find out he was dealing with a convicted fraudster a used car salesman and a boat builder? People just walk in the office , get contracts and then you shrug your shoulders and say "well that's what they told me"? It doesn't matter who owns the land, the government had to authorize the project. This was a gigantic mess spearheaded by the PM's office. And The PM acknowledged it was a mess.

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TalRussell 1 year, 7 months ago

Ma Comrades, the PM, KP, Jeff L, Dionisio James and Carl Wilshire are never shy tell-all transparency gory details why those known and thought to have ever in their lifetime been connected to the former PLP government got fired............... but they're on different transparency agenda when it comes firing one they own red shirts. {You has no I did not just create in my head the four red characters}.

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TigerB 1 year, 7 months ago

I have a wonderful Idea, let put Brave Back in there, or better yet, the DNA fella Mortimer... then some of us will be happy, right? we cud do that in 4 years...

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TalRussell 1 year, 7 months ago

Ma Comrade, please, no more crabs or torches. No more parties making out likes everything is all predestined be is it time blacks, or whites hold strings power.
Should structured after the colonial rulers (black power Bahamaland same as colonial power) times political parties be abolished and is it possible achieve by time rungin' 2022 general election bell does sounds?

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licks2 1 year, 7 months ago

DO YOU EVER THINK THAT WE DROPPED COLONIAL STYLE OF GOVERNMENT SINCE 1967? Tal you old aye? Our overlords only changed skin color. . .

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John 1 year, 7 months ago

The first slave ship that left Africa laden with slaves was named ‘The Great Ship Jesus .’ So you can imagine the stories they told those free Africans, soon to be slaves (or dead) to get them on that boat (call Jesus of Lemuch.’ O how have things changed since then!

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John 1 year, 7 months ago

Come, Grand Bahama, let us worship our savior OBan. They won’t be taking you off on big ships (named Jesus) this time. They will be brothers big ships to you.

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