PM: The Bahamas poised for an economic rebirth

PM: The Bahamas poised for an economic rebirth
GEORGE TOWN, EXUMA - Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis spoke at a town meeting at the Exuma Foundation Resources Center in George Town, Exuma, on Saturday, March 16, 2019. (BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)

GEORGE TOWN, EXUMA – Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said The Bahamas and the island of Exuma are poised for an economic rebirth as he announced extensive plans to improve infrastructure on the island.

Among the plans are a new international airport in George Town, the construction of an Office of the Prime Minister, much-needed roadworks and repairs to public docks.

The prime minister also announced that the moratorium on taxi plates and rental cars would be lifted exclusively for the island, and government would ensure the necessary resources would be provided to staff the island’s public health clinic.

Dr. Minnis said the new facilities and improved infrastructure will allow the island’s residents to take full advantage of the increase in visitor arrivals being experienced throughout The Bahamas in record numbers, and new economic opportunities.

“We must prepare you for what is coming,” the prime minister told residents attending a Town Hall meeting on the island on Saturday, March 16, 2019, held at the Exuma Foundation Resource Centre.

“As all of these planes come in, your airport will become obsolete. You must have a new and improved airport. If Exuma is receiving a new airport, it also means there must be additional employment to run such facilities. What it also means is if our tourist numbers are increasing and our airport is being expanded you must have additional taxis and self-drive cars available.”

Dr. Minnis met with residents of Exuma to provide an update on the Mid-Year Budget Statement and the recent 30th Inter-Sessional CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in St. Kitts and Nevis.

He encouraged the island’s residents to take advantage of increased opportunities for entrepreneurship through programs offered by the Small Business Development Center, which is providing up to $20,000 in grants, and support, for Bahamians looking for capital to start small businesses.

The prime minister also told residents who are leasing Crown Land that they may soon have the opportunity to become landowners.

Outstanding applications for residents leasing Crown Land will be processed in the coming weeks, particularly for Family Island residents, said the prime minister.

Dr. Minnis said the Government’s ambitious affordable housing program will also provide additional land ownership opportunities for Family Island residents.

The Government is in the process of developing subdivisions in New Providence and the Family Islands, featuring lots – complete with infrastructure – for sale at less than $30,000.

“The Family Islands have been ignored for too long. Exuma is not represented by the FNM but we are still one Bahamas and we will not discriminate against any constituency or island as long as I am here,” said Prime Minister Minnis.

The Town Hall meetings are part of Prime Minister Minnis’ commitment to provide regular updates to Family Island communities throughout the country.