GUANA CAY, Abaco --- The Government of The Bahamas is satisfied that the development on Baker’s Bay is in the “national interest” of The Bahamas and that Government officials should do whatever is necessary to ensure that they effectively support, facilitate and accommodate the development, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham said.
Mr. Ingraham said, on Saturday, December 8, 2007, the developers have proven that they are not “fly-by-night people” by showing their resilience and determination to forge ahead with the project despite previous delays in getting underway, delays he said, which were not their fault.
Prime Minister Ingraham said the development is contributing significantly to the economy of Abaco by producing, in terms of wages, one million dollars per month.
‘From a Government point of view, anytime you are paying one million dollars in wages, at the end of the day, $200,000 of that comes directly back to the Public Treasury as revenue,” Mr. Ingraham said.
“Additionally, the development is accessing lots of goods and services from Bahamian suppliers and contractors. It is the Government’s wish that we had many more developers like the developers here at Baker’s Bay,” Mr. Ingraham added.
Mr. Ingraham, who made a site visit to Baker’s Bay accompanied by Minister of Lands and Local Government the Hon. Sidney Collie and Minister of State for Public Works and Utilities the Hon. Phenton Neymour, said the site visit was to show the Government’s support for the Project “and to ensure them that we will do all in our power to support them and to ensure that they are successful.”
Prime Minister Ingraham said he expects the Project to add to the lustre of the Abaco economy which he says has one of the highest standards of living “of any island in The Bahamas anywhere” and which he says has been “fueled, driven, oiled and greased by wealthy foreigners who own homes on this island.”
“If they were fly-by-night people, they would have … left the country a long time ago,” Mr. Ingraham said. “Instead they have shown that they are committed and dedicated to this Project.
“It took them a long time to get approval from the Government; they were strung along and they had to pay monies to keep the option to buy this land,” Mr. Ingraham said. “They eventually bought the land and they have been assaulted ever since (but) their resilience and their determination is very much respected by myself and appreciated by the Government of The Bahamas.”
Mr. Ingraham said the Project will provide many benefits to the economy of Abaco in particular and The Bahamas in general.
“It will attract very wealthy, high-end persons” he said, “it will provide lots of jobs and produce plenty of taxes that can help the Government of The Bahamas to provide the kinds of services that the Bahamian people require and expect.
“The initial construction of 20 homes (scheduled to take place over the next three months) valued in the millions of dollars is a big thing for our construction industry in Abaco, for our shops, for our suppliers, for a whole host of things and of course Government revenue,” Mr. Ingraham said.
Developers estimate that almost 300 homes, costing anywhere from 10-20million dollars, will be constructed, helping to add to the overall “build out” of the Project to more than $3billion dollars, plus the cost of land.
The Government has $25million in taxes coming to it before the end of the year.
Prime Minister Ingraham said the Baker’s Bay Project, which will be developed over almost 600 acres – about the size of Paradise Island - has the potential to match the development that has taken place on that island.
Mr. Ingraham said the development have undertaken a Project that is environmentally acceptable and sustainable and one that is contributing significantly to the economy of Abaco and hence the economy of The Bahamas.