Prime Minister Minnis: Gov will not grant approval for free-trade zone on Andros or sell off large tracts of land

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis said his administration will not grant approval for a free-trade zone on the island of Andros, nor will it alienate or sell-off vast tracts of land in The Bahamas.

The Prime Minister was addressing published reports on a draft proposal for Andros, which included concepts for the development of half a million acres of land, aragonite harvesting, medical research facilities, air and seaports, and other developments.  

On Monday 22 June the Office of the Prime Minister issued a statement acknowledging that the draft proposal was submitted. 

The statement noted that the proposal has not been formally analysed nor reviewed to determine its viability, nor has it been presented to the National Economic Council for consideration.

“I have been disappointed to see how this issue has been misused by the Opposition to sow confusion in our country,” the Prime Minister said on Sunday 28 June during a live National Address.  

“Let me be very clear for all to hear. This Government will not grant a free-trade zone in Andros. Nor will we alienate or sell-off vast tracts of Bahamas land as a previous PLP administration allowed in Mayaguana, when 10,000 acres was alienated to a foreign group.”

Prime Minister Minnis reiterated that the Government has not approved the proposal.

“We welcome Bahamian and foreign investors submitting proposals that are win-wins for the people of The Bahamas and for the investors,” said the Prime Minister.

“At this time of great economic hard-ship we need all the appropriate investment we can get. However, my Government will not approve concepts from Bahamians or foreigners we think are not in the best interest of the Bahamian people.”  

The Prime Minister urged the public not to be confused by “those who went to Grand Bahama last week, behaving as if they were the government duly elected by the Bahamian people.”

He said the country must remain focused on the health crisis and an economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“And we are still rebuilding Ragged Island, and Abaco, the Abaco Cays and Grand Bahama following Hurricane Dorian,” noted Prime Minister Minnis.