Halkitis to govt: Scrap Oban Deal

Michael Halkita, former State Min. of Finance

Deal cannot be trusted

Former Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis urged government to scrap the Oban deal ahead of a second signing for a new heads of agreement (HOA).

Assurances were given earlier this summer by head of the government committee on the new deal, Labor Minister Dion Foulkes, that a new deal will be inked soon.

However months after government admitted that mistakes were made during the initial deal, that has not yet happened.

Halkitis in a recent interview with Eyewitness News lambasted government for its errors.

Back in February, outrage erupted from various sectors over the deal, after former Oban executive director Peter Krieger forged the signature of Oban’s CEO Satpal Dhunna.

Government was also attacked by environmentalist who charged that no environmental assessment of the proposed site in East Grand Bahama had been completed and they would not support the development.

Halkitis said based on the fact that the deal has been shrouded in controversy from the start, government should not proceed.

“There is a tremendous amount of distrust with this deal,” Halkits said. “People might say Grand Bahama needs any help it can get in terms of building the economy and providing jobs, but refineries are closing down around the world.”

The former state minister argued that government should go back to the residents of Grand Bahama for full consultation before it moves ahead with the $5 billion project.

“Go back to the people and be fully transparent,” Halkitis said. “The deal presently on the table cannot be trusted.”