PM: Government not supporting privatization or shutdown of state-owned enterprises

PM: Government not supporting privatization or shutdown of state-owned enterprises
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Philip Davis stated on Wednesday that despite the continued need for significant government subsidies, the government does not advocate for the shutdown or privatization of state-owned enterprises, citing their significant social benefits across the country.

During his mid-year budget statement in Parliament on Wednesday, the Prime Minister emphasized: “State-owned enterprises provide significant social benefits and support Bahamians across our archipelago, but they continue to require strong support from the public purse.”

He elaborated: “There are certain activities that are unlikely to generate profits but are still considered important to the culture, character, and quality of life of a nation. For instance, regular flights to some of our smaller islands, such as Rum Cay or Ragged Island, are unlikely to attract sufficient private investment. This underscores the importance of our national flag carrier, Bahamasair, whose flights across our archipelago contribute to our national development. Similarly, the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas boasts that in terms of coverage, ‘only the sun covers The Bahamas better than ZNS Bahamas’.”

Davis continued: “We do not believe SOEs should be shut down or privatized. However, this does not preclude private sector partnership and participation. Instead, we aim to make them as effective, efficient, and sustainable as possible, ensuring profitability where practical, long into the future.”

Davis highlighted that the government has implemented comprehensive expenditure guidelines for State-Owned Enterprises to promote financial accountability and align their business practices with national fiscal objectives.

“In addition, we have provided formal training for Board members of SOEs and are in the process of implementing a comprehensive program to enhance financial accountability,” said Prime Minister Davis.