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Idb Will Determine Dorian's Full Effect

By YOURI KEMP

The full cost of Hurricane Dorian could be determined within the month after the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) conducts its assessment, the deputy prime minister said yesterday.

K Peter Turnquest confirmed that the multilateral lender will conduct a mission to The Bahamas this week, and then provide the government with an assessment report on the extent of the damage inflicted by Dorian and repair costs.

He told Tribune Business: “The IDB has a mission here tomorrow and Wednesday to assess economic and infrastructure costs. That mission will report in about three weeks, when we will have hard data from which to plan and report.”

When asked if any of the IDB’s $100m loan facility has been spent as yet, Mr Turnquest added: “We have drawn down the $100m to be utilised to cover immediate temporary shelter costs, water and power restoration costs, which the minister of works has already foreshadowed.

“We are concerned about the restarting of the economy on both islands and, to this end, the government is providing incentives through low-cost capital loans, grants and subventions.”

This was previously mentioned by the prime minister when he announced the creation of Economic Recovery Zones for east Grand Bahama and Abaco, in addition to providing for $10m in grants and equity financing for businesses affected by Hurricane Dorian.

Mr Turnquest confirmed that the government is interested in “the creation of special economic incentives such as VAT and duty concessions to assist in the return of operations, especially the main economic drivers, to encourage return of the labour and people needed to re-establish and sustain the city [Marsh Harbour].

“We are focused on building the infrastructure to make that happen, and Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) and Water and Sewerage (WSC) are being given the resources they need in order to effect the rebuilding of their grids as soon as possible.”

Desmond Bannister, minister of works, has already said it will cost between $95m to $110m to restore BPL and WSC throughout Abaco alone, with the latter’s price tag being anywhere from $15m to $20m and the electricity utility’s ranging from $80m to $90m.

Asked if additional borrowing will be added to the $100m IDB loan in the short-term, Mr Turnquest replied: “As stated we anticipate drawing the full $100m in utility restoration, providing temporary shelter and subsistence provisions until the economy starts to churn.”

When pressed on the BPL and Water & Sewerage repair works alone costing more than the $100m provided by the IDB, and the need to find additional money, Mr Turnquest added: “So we are looking at any number of financing options as well as looking into the budget to determine the most optimal use of resources by shifting priorities.”

Mr Turnquest is hosting the IDB president, Luis Alberto Moreno, this week. The duo, together with several IDB executives, left for Abaco on a fact-finding mission together with the South Abaco MP, James Albury.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Mr. Moreno and his huge IDB entourage should be kicked out of our country and told to never return. They are here for one purpose only - to plant their big fat lending teat ('tit") on the lips of our drooling corrupt politicians who will gleefully suck away to their hearts content even though they know full well that our country is already mired in unsustainable debt.

Mr. Moreno claims the IDB is a development institution but he can't point to single country where it has been instrumental in developing the country for the betterment of its people; in fact the opposite is true.

The developed nations that both fund and direct the hideous lending missions of the IDB for their own geo-political interests, as opposed to the interests of the borrowing nations, use the IDB as a tool for usurping the sovereignty of the targeted nations, and gaining control over their corrupt governments. Yes indeed, this is all too easily accomplished by getting corrupt governments like ours hooked on borrowing.

The compensation packages of Mr. Moreno and the other more senior IDB executives is based on how well they carry out their hideous missions on the targeted nations like the Bahamas.

The IDB should be told in no uncertain terms that what we really need most is outright financial aid and grants, ideally directly given to known non-corrupt NGO's within our country. We don't need anymore very costly foreign currency denominated loans.

If I were in KP Turnquest's shoes I would tell Mr. Moreno (with tongue in my cheek) that the 'non-existent' government of Haiti is in desperate need of a very large IDB loan, on the most favourable terms possible, to assist with re-settling the many thousands of Haitians to be deported from the Bahamas.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Our national debt plus unfunded entitlements and other obligations guaranteed by the government already well exceeds $12 billion dollars, an ever increasing portion of which is denominated in foreign currencies. And most of our national debt arises from IDB encouraged and induced borrowings spanning decades notwithstanding that the IDB from time to time readily acknowledging that corruption is rife at all levels of our government and civil work force.

The IDB is well aware that a great portion of the borrowings they encouraged and induced has literally being squandered over the years by our corrupt government officials with the result being that we have very little of value today to show for the mountain of debt we owe. Yet here they are once again, encouraging and inducing our country to go on a borrowing spree like no other, with the devastating aftermath of Dorian as the ideal excuse for doing so.

PM Minnis and DPM Turnquest both know that even before Dorian, our national budgets were 'crowded out' by a very high level of debt service costs, leaving too little for everything else. It was recognized by the Fiscal Responsibility Act that our national debt must be painfully reduced as quickly as possible in order to avoid much much greater pain down the road, and even the possibility of the Bahamas becoming a failed state. But the IDB is now telling them to turn a blind eye to all of that as if we could somehow miraculously get back on the road to fiscal responsibility at a later date. Well that certainly won't ever happen if we foolishly take the IDB's bait.

Dorian has exposed for the IDB to clearly see, the full extent to which the illegal Haitian alien problem has for decades been a serious drag on our country's very limited economic and social welfare resources. Even before Dorian, our country's development has been stymied as evidenced by our collapsing infrastructure. Why doesn't the IDB offer Haiti financial help with the repatriation?

As I see it, the five greatest threats to the Bahamas today, in order of importance, are:

1) Undesirable foreign investors and international agencies (like the IDB) that encourage and induce government corruption.

2) The invasion of our country by many thousands of illegal Haitian aliens.

3) The 'illegal' criminal enterprises run by the racketeering numbers bosses that are literally sucking the life's blood out of our economy and in the process destroying many lives by promoting highly addictive gambling habits.

4) Our sub-standard law enforcement and criminal justice systems, along with a judiciary now fraught with political interference to the point where it has become bereft of the quality of independent minded jurists one should expect.

5) Red China's increasing efforts through propaganda and financial means to use our elected government officials to advance its own interests to the detriment of the interests of the Bahamian people.

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