NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest said yesterday the government is actively “having another look” at opportunities for the exploitation of the country’s natural resources.
Turnquest, who was addressing a Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) Accountant’s Week conference, said: “We are actively engaged in having another look at that. We have had studies done that have told us that it is not as productive as what is widely circulated on social media.
“We have also done studies that have told us that there is potential, and so we want to explore that as best as we can to see what is real and what is sustainable.”
There has been increased public discourse over the exploitation of the country’s natural resources in recent months.
Turnquest added: “One of the things our consultations have told us is that once you remove it it’s going to take 200 years for it to be redeposited.
“If we are going to engage in that activity we want to do it the responsible way and ensure we do not damage other ecosystems in any long term way.”
Turnquest also noted that the government is also looking at the viability of a legalized cannabis industry.
“That is an area we are looking at,” he said. “As persons may be aware there are some technical challenges in being able to bank the proceeds from the industry.
“Jamaica had the same problem and they had to do some creative things that puts them at risk in some areas.
“The biggest challenge is how do you bank the profits and maintain your correspondent banking relationships.”