MARSH HARBOUR, ABACO – Economic recovery and restoration on Abaco continues to be mired in bureaucracy, according to a local district representative.
Roscoe Thompson, head of the Marsh Harbour/Spring City township told Eyewitness News Online, “the red tape is killing us”.
“The red tape is what is killing us. We still have local heavy equipment companies trying to get their equipment in that were not included in the tender process of companies that came out of Nassau for the Ministry of Works and Department of Environmental Health.”
Thompson continued: “Why are you bringing in companies from Nassau and not giving Abaco companies the opportunity to bid on the work. If they need heavy equipment then allow them to bring them in duty free. They have connections in the US. Allow them to team up with a US-based company or work along with them. It’s a lot of red tape still killing us.”
In an interview on Friday, Thompson also lamented the challenges surrounding obtaining supplies.
“Where are the generators that were donated? I know here in Marsh Harbour people have had their name on the list but have not been called. Where is all the supplies? Where is everything going? I’m not saying that anyone is taking it but there has to be a central location for what has come in besides private organizations and people that have sent generators,” said Thompson.
He continued: “Where is NEMA’s central location here besides Jack Thompson. I’m not putting it on him, it’s not his fault as he is only mandated to do what government tells him.
“Even if you have generators the cost of fuel is still high, even though they dropped the VAT. If they dropped the duty, instead of one month you can run you generator for two months. This duty free economic zone they are trying to sell to everyone, where is it?
“The free stuff is the goods people are donating. I have to give Abaco Big Bird credit. For the first six weeks after the storm they gave away ice. Why can’t NEMA give them $30,000 to assist or work something out with them so they can keep producing ice and give it to the people free of charge.”