PM Expounds Importance of Public-Private Partnership at Construction Groundbreaking in Eight Mile Rock

Public-Private Partnership enables the Government of The Bahamas to avoid borrowing money to construct buildings and establish enterprises, which in turn allows for more employment and growth of the Bahamian economy.  Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie expounded the importance of public-private partnership to national development at the official groundbreaking ceremony for an Administrative Complex in Eight Mile Rock, December 22, 2016.

Such a partnership, he said, has helped the government sign a contract with Top Notch Builders for the construction of the Administrative Complex, which will service the entire West Grand Bahama community, inclusive of Eight Mile Rock, Pinedale and West End.  It is expected to be completed in 2017.

The Prime Minister explained that the complex is expensive; and to make it possible, the government would have had to either borrow the money, or be innovative and use the instrument of public-private partnership which would avoid adding to the national debt.

The Prime Minister publicly thanked Top Notch Builders for being a partner and demonstrating the wherewithal and the sense of purpose to partner with the government in bringing about this necessary expansion of services to Western Grand Bahama.

He noted that the ground-breaking ceremony was a demonstration of a commitment of the government to responsible and prudent, fiscal governance and responsibility.

Using the island of Bimini as an example of a true picture of the benefits of Public- Private Partnership, the Prime Minister pointed out the fact that a developer went into Bimini, formed a company in The Bahamas and built a Resort.

In the construction of that facility was a decision, in association with the government, to improve public access (harbor, airport and roads).

“For that, the government would have had to go out and borrow the money to bring about those infrastructural improvements,” Prime Minister Christie explained. “So the Public-Private Partnership brings into play a stronger relationship with the private sector, where we are able to find partners, who would engage in these works, borrow the money themselves, complete the building and have a process of turning it over to the government.

“In Bimini, for example, the government will pay the developers back for road works and airport works by offsetting it with taxes that ordinarily would be paid by the developer.

“So right now, the government is superintending, through public-private partnership, the building of an Administration Center in Harbour Island, the building of a special facility to house a new post office building, a building to house the Road Traffic Department in New Providence, and a building to provide accommodation and services for Special Children — all through Public-Private Partnership.

“So you can see therefore, that the innovation allows the government to become more involved in an expanded way in the economy of The Bahamas and not be tied down to a debate where people accuse the government of borrowing too much or increasing the National debt through borrowing.

“We’re trying really to find a way to keep our country going using this innovation.”

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