The Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) debacle came to a head last week with the unceremonious removal of the Board. It was reported that the entire Board of the nation’s main power supply company was asked to resign due to their inability to agree on matters and key decisions.
The Government’s decision to ask all members of BPL’s Board to step down followed questions raised by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC), the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) and leaders of the two unions representing the workers of BPL. The questions which centered on transparency of the bidding process, compliance with applicable laws and regulations as well as hiring decisions at the utility company, remain unanswered to date.
Documents revealed by the media suggest that there was significant interference in BPL by the political directorate. Despite campaigning on a good governance, transparency, accountability and anti-corruption platform, this FNM administration has turned out to be a colossal failure on these important core values. It is an understatement to indicate that the Government has a dark cloud of cronyism, nepotism and contradictions hanging over its head. They must come clean to the Bahamian people and explain to prevent further blemish to our country’s reputation.
The serious allegations of utter disrespect, undermining and chauvinism at BPL are inconsistent with an administration that pontificates equal opportunity, meritocracy, fiscal prudence and good governance. The Government’s statements on this matter as released to the media are grossly inadequate and do not serve to secure the integrity of the former members of BPL’s Board.
We note that this is the second former President of the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) that has been fired by the FNM Government within 15 months in office. These are professionals in the field of accounting that reached the zenith of their careers while earning the respect of their peers. Is the Government averse to professionals who are charged with ensuring good governance, internal controls, fiscal responsibility, checks and balances?
We note that this is not the first time that the current administration has been found wanting on transparency and accountability to the Bahamian people. Many will recall the removal of key departments from the portfolio of the Minister of the Environment & Housing, the abrupt termination of the former Chairman of the Antiquities, Monuments & Museums Corporation, the OBAN saga and the lack of information on the proposed Grand Lucayan purchase just to mention a few. The true colours of this administration are being unravelled before our eyes.
Arinthia S. Komolafe, Deputy Leader
Democratic National Alliance