Govt. looking to solidify more public private partnerships

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS  – The government is looking to solidify more Public Private Partnerships as a means of implementing priority investment and infrastructure projects that are aligned with its development objectives, said Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis on Tuesday.

Under the new PPP framework, the prime minister said sectors being targeted are electricity generation and distribution, renewable energy sources in the Family Islands, ports, airports, roads and bridges, urban renewal, information and communication technology and government buildings.

The nation’s chief was giving his keynote address at the Caribbean Infrastructure Forum held yesterday at Baha Mar.

Back in October, the government released a formal policy for public-private partnerships which Dr. Minnis said articulated a comprehensive, transparent framework that deals successively with the management, development and maintenance of public infrastructure.

“In these instances, the private sector’s partner skills, knowledge, technology and capital must be assessed adequately to assume the project’s risk and deliver high-quality design, instruction and performance-based services,” the prime minister said, adding that the key aim is to ensure that the government obtains value for money in these relationships.

The prime minister noted that over ten years ago, airport development and management was one of the areas in PPPs that could be pursued in achieving better management results.

He said the government is therefore presently seeking to capitalize on its favourable experience with this model used for the country’s main aviation gateway by exploring similar arrangements for other airport facilities.

Minnis admitted, however, that the government still has some ground to cover.

“The government also recognizes that it must strengthen its knowledge and capacity in the area of project preparation, procurement and monitoring to support investment planning and a stepped-up engagement in the private sector,” he said.

He added that many of these areas are being addressed by the government with the assistance of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), geared towards modernization and improving the capacity for program delivery in the area of national statistics, production and business processes.

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