NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Free National Movement (FNM) yesterday issued a statement heralding the Minnis administration for “leading through unparalleled challenges” brought on by Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hurricane Dorian and the global pandemic set The Bahamas back after our FNM government was delivering record-setting achievements,” the party’s statement read.
“We were experiencing consistent economic growth for the first time in years; historic tourism numbers; long-needed resolutions at BPL (Bahamas Power and Light); and expanded access to education, placing more Bahamians on a path to success.
“Leadership can be defined by how one leads through trials. Under the direction of Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, our government has led through back-to-back crises with hard work and determination.”
Up to Tuesday, December 22, the country has had a total of 7,788 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 1,398 active.
A total of 169 people have died of the virus, with another 20 deaths still under investigation and 35 deaths classified as non-COVID-related.
The country reopened its borders to international commercial travel in November 1 alongside the government’s attempted restart of the hard-hit tourism industry.
A number of major hotels have also begun or announced reopening, which the government expects will improve the historically low unemployment numbers the country has seen during the pandemic.
The FNM, in its statement, reiterated points made during a Ministry of Finance press conference on Monday, during which Minister of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson provided a breakdown of the recently released 2020 Fiscal Strategy Report.
According to the FNM: “While guiding The Bahamas to a safe and responsible reopening and delivering historic crisis relief, our government has also managed to keep bringing in investments to continue building a Bahamas with more opportunity for all.
“Rebuilding our economy will take time. However, from continued infrastructure development on Family Islands, increased skills training, development of emerging markets and continued job creation, our FNM government is doing the hard work to position The Bahamas for the future.”
Minnis has within the past month traveled to several Family Islands to deliver speeches at ceremonies including Crown land grants on Abaco; the reopening of Barraterre Dock on Exuma; and the opening of a bridge and road on Long Island.
He also traveled to Rum Cay to “assess the government buildings and listen to the residents regarding any concerns they currently have”, according to the prime minister’s Facebook page.
During the visits, he promised future development for Family Islands.
Earlier this month, Minnis defended the spate of recent travels amid criticisms from the opposition that his travel appeared to be campaigning at the cost of potentially exposing those communities unnecessarily to COVID-19.