NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Centreville MP Reece Chipman yesterday accused the government of ‘recycling’ over the recent announcement of its Economic Recovery Committee, while also noting that economic recovery must come from the ground up.
Chipman told Parliament all committee members were already serving on three boards or more.
“We continue to see the recycling of the same people over and over on these committees,” Chipman said.
“The electorate clearly spoke to change but yet in a time like this, the system reverts to ‘same old same old’. Let me be very clear. I love and appreciate all of these individuals. I have worked with many of them throughout my career, and they all know what I stand for, Bahamian or nuttin, progress or nuttin, intentional leadership, leadership intent on Bahamian ownership and leadership intent on change.”
Chipman continued: “This Government is recycling. The PLP is also guilty of recycling. The average recycling age for the FNM is usually lower than the average recycling age of the PLP. Right now we have an opportunity to make the Bahamas what we need it to be.
“No recycling. Everyone on this Committee is already serving on three to four boards. This type of recycling speaks to a disconnect and a detachment between our Parliament and our people, our boardrooms and our people.”
Chipman stressed that economic recovery must come from the ground up.
“Our people are hurting, our people are starving, our people are broke. I encourage your committee to connect with the ground. Connect with the people, connect with mortgage relief, connect with social security, connect with our national level of education as it relates to a future for our children, connect with our farmers, and our fishing industry, connect with our natural resources, simply connect with our people.
“Where is the Bahamas Maritime Association? Where is the Natural Resources Association? Where is BAMSI and where is the University of the Bahamas?”
Chipman said: “I do not question the paper qualifications of your committee members, but this is time for full representation and the encompassing of new industries and our most valuable resources, those in and outside our country which is our people. Where is the connection? I hope the Economic Recovery Committee start with all those cruise ships in our waters, more than thirty of them just sitting there.”
On Sunday, Minnis announced a 14-member Economic Recovery Committee to be led by acting Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson and businessman Ken Kerr of Providence Advisors.
Committee members include: John Rolle, Governor, Central Bank of The Bahamas; Wendy Craigg, former Central Bank Governor; Advisor, Ministry of Finance; Christina Rolle, Executive Director, Securities Commission of The Bahamas; Davinia Blair-Grant, Executive Director, Small Business Development Centre; John Delaney, Q.C., Senior Partner, Delaney Partners; Khrystle Rutherford-Ferguson, Chair, Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Federation; Greg Laroda, Chair, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce; Suzanne Pattusch, Executive Vice-president, Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association; Tanya McCartney, Executive Director, Bahamas Financial Services Board; Nat Beneby, former Managing Director, RBC Royal Bank; Patrick Ward, President/CEO, Bahamas First General Insurance Co; Edison Sumner, Principal, Sumner Trading Partners; Franklyn Butler, CEO/President, Cable Bahamas Ltd; Obie Ferguson, President, Bahamas Trade Union Congress; and Matt Aubry, Executive Director, Organization for Responsible Governance.