Opposition Leader Phillip Davis in Parliament yesterday said government decision to purchase the Our Lucayan Property is a “desperate” and “ill- advised” move.
During debate on the Resolution to purchase the resort through a Special Purchase Vehicle (SPV) Davis said it is a band-aid approach to the mounting negative issues impacting the nation’s second city.
The SPV will allow government to to own the assets outside of the Hotel Corporation of The Bahamas.
Prime minister Dr. Hubert Minnis noted that it was a demonstration of the Government’s view that this acquisition represents a special case. He added that the SPV is also a demonstration of the Government’s determination to sell the Grand Lucayan property as rapidly as possible to an entity, including possibly a Bahamian entity, with the demonstrated capacity to make it a commercial success.
Davis however said it adds to a number of bad deals the government has negotiated for Grand Bahama, including Oban.
“Simply put it is a bad deal,” Davis said. “ I call upon us to commit here today that there will be no more bad deals for Grand Bahama. The Oban deal is still shrouded in secrecy compounded by the fact that the Parliament, this parliament, was led by no less a person than the Prime minister and that scandalous Oban deal is a matter that they have yet to come clean to the Bahamian people about.”
Davis called on Dr. Minnis to provide, having purchased the property , the details of due diligence and government consideration of reasons why Hutchinson failed to operate the hotel effectively.
“ I’m afraid we are making another mistakes in failing to learn from past missteps.”
Meanwhile Shadow Minister for Finance and Member of Parliament for Exuma and Ragged Island, said government should have forced the Hutchinson Group to honor the Union’s agreement and pay employees their severance packages, as government will now absorb that cost.
“Get the vendor to pay the people what they owe. Government should have insisted to continue with the concessions but government throws their hand up and say they will close, the same Hutchinson that is a partner in Freeport,” Cooper said.