As the Free National Movement (FNM) administration approaches the one-year anniversary of its landslide election win on May 10, 2017, parliamentarians and FNM supporters gathered for a thanksgiving service Sunday at Living Waters Kingdom Ministries to celebrate and review the government’s performance.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, during his address, outlined his administration’s successes to date.
“Economic growth has returned to The Bahamas,” Dr. Minnis touted.
“Our economy grew by 1.4 per cent last year and is projected to grow by another 2.5 per cent this year.
“There has been a significant reduction in murders and an overall drop in crime. We have initiated a process to remove shanty towns – a long-standing vexing issue for Bahamians. We are embarking on an ambitious long-term plan to revitalize over-the-hill.”
The prime minister also highlighted the government’s work toward stamping out corruption and its plans to address social and economic transformation throughout The Bahamas.
“We are addressing corruption which retards national development and progress. We must continue our commitment to transform cultures of impunity, mistrust and lawlessness. We must change them into cultures of accountability, inclusion and respect for the rule of law,” he said.
“Our agenda for economic development and growth will be done in tandem with a comprehensive social agenda that will increase home ownership. Your FNM government will create subdivisions with necessary infrastructure for young Bahamian families to purchase these properties, at less than $30,000.
“Grand Bahama is at the heart of our agenda to boost economic growth and reduce unemployment. There are exciting plans for economic recovery for that island, especially in tourism.”
The prime minister’s speech also took a few blows at the opposition Progressive Liberal Party (PLP); which suffered a crushing defeat during the last General Election.
“Our opponents suffered a mighty defeat on May 10. The Bahamian people saw that their rule was about self-interest. The people’s resources and money were being wasted by a party that was leading this country down a path to ruin,” he stated.
At this juncture, the prime minister cautioned his colleagues, to remain humble and committed to the party’s vision.
“We must not be arrogant because of our victory one year ago. We must not underestimate our adversaries. The PLP is an old party and will attack our accomplishments at every turn,” he warned.
“We should not attack each other in the press. We should not be public critics of our government’s work – in doing so we give aid to the PLP.”
FNM Cabinet Ministers expressed a positive outlook on the government’s performance to Eyewitness News yesterday.
“I think we have done quite well,” Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said.
“I believe we could have done some things better, so, I would say a strong B or an A- is a reasonable grade.”
For Minister of Education Jeff Lloyd, his ministry and portfolio, he said, is at a solid ‘B+’.
“We have come in at a time when it was extraordinarily difficult in this country and every metric out there is indicating that we are on track,” Lloyd said.
“Right now, we are cleaning up the mess, we are laying the ground work and a then as the tree begins to bear fruit we will all be able to begin to enjoy in very short order.”
Darren Henfield, minister of Foreign Affairs, shared similar sentiments stating that his ministry is working “very hard” to eliminate boundaries between The Bahamas and the United States (U.S.).
“At the one-year mark I would give us a B+,” Henfield said.
“I think we have been working very hard. In my ministry in particular we have started a lot of things that we set out as policy initiatives – delimiting the boundaries between ourselves and the United States (US). We have engaged deliberately in the diaspora abroad and I can see our relations moving from strength to strength.”
According to Minister of Transport and Local Government Frankie Campbell, he is “satisfied that mindful that what we met in place, we have done the clean-up necessary to now move this country forward”.
“I give this administration an A for the clean-up that we have done to move this country forward,” he said.
And for National Security Minister Marvin Dames, calling the current government “exceptional will not be telling the truth”.
“We have done a significant amount of work,” said Dames.
“We understand that coming in that there was a lot to do. We entered the government in an economy that was basically on the brink of collapse. But the economy has now taken a turn in a positive direction; so we are on the right track, but we are not there yet.”
The prime minister urged his party, and FNM supporters, to remain united.
“FNM’s, we must stand together, shoulder-to-shoulder, to protect this country from a party that cannot be trusted in power. We are strong together, and can achieve historic and big things if we remain steadfast and together,” Dr. Minnis said.