NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The report on whether local government should be established in New Providence has been completed and is expected to go before Cabinet in a few weeks, announced prime minister Dr. Hubert Minnis at the recent opening of a local Government conference at the Melia Resort.
The government formed a committee last year to complete research on local governments nationally and internationally. The committee weighed the pros and cons in preparation for a possible local government to be established in New Providence.
Last week, Dr. Minnis said the report has been completed and he is confident of the positive impact that local government in New Providence would have on the country’s growth and economic development.
“The decisions that follow may enhance the quality of life in New Providence in the first instance and the enhancement of local government in the family islands,” he said.
According to Dr. Minnis, his government is not “Nassau centric” and they will give the family islands the same attention that it does to capital.
“We are one Bahamas,” he said.
“Our family islands must see and feel that they are given equitable attention. Our government policy will be, family islanders will be first to hear of any major infrastructure signing on their island.”
The prime minister’s comments came on the heels of the recent signing of a Heads of Agreement for the Lighthouse Point development in Bannerman Town, South Eleuthera. The media was not invited to the signing and news of the signing was made public during a town meeting in Eleuthera. The prime minister later told the media that the government wanted to firstly inform the residents of Eleuthera about the agreement.
Meanwhile, in addition to the possibility of establishing local government in New Providence, Dr. Minnis said his administration is serious about enhancing education, healthcare, agriculture, fisheries and tourism.
He said that tourism will have a significant impact on the country’s economic development and the government that is preparing for it.
“Our country is experiencing a tourism boom, the prime minister said. To secure our economic future, we must develop all of our major islands to take advantage of a new era in tourism.”