NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government has engaged some 200 small Bahamian contractors and allocated some $20 million for the construction of sidewalks and repairing of parks throughout New Providence.
Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister told reporters outside Cabinet yesterday that the initiative will seek to boost the economy and employ Bahamians who have been impacted by the COVID pandemic.
“One of the things we are going to do is to make sure that as many small Bahamian contractors as possible are put to work and that’s what we are seeking to do now,” Bannister said.
“In the same process, they are going to be able to improve the communities.
“If you go for example in Englerston, you are going to see sidewalks everywhere in Englerston for the people of Englerston.
“What that does is instead of someone simply getting a check from NIB, that person can have the dignity of working and understanding that they can take a fair amount of money home for the work they do. They will spend that money in their communities.”
The public works minister said the government is hoping to see a spin-off effect that impacts everyone.
“We are going to seek to do as much as we can to help as many people as we can so people can get back on their feet, have a fighting chance, have the dignity of working, earning money and being able to take care of their families”, he added.
He noted that an initial allotment of $20million has been made.
“It doesn’t go very far but you are going to see a change in your community parks – over 100 parks on this island – you are going to see a change in them and you are going to see a change in a lot of the communities and how people traverse the streets.”
Asked how many contractors will be employed, Bannister said 200 contractors have been engaged.
“This is depending on how things go,” he added.
“This is likely to change. We had looked to do this in July. We hadn’t been able to roll it out until now. Depending on how things go, depending on how the economy goes, we are going to see what we can do to help people get back on their feet.”