Bahamians will remain majority owners in the Port of Nassau, Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday.
D’Aguilar made the assertion during a press conference to announce Global Port Holdings (GPH) as the winning bidder to redevelop Nassau’s cruise port.
“All businesses operating in the port will be owned by Bahamians,” D’Aguilar said.
According to the minister, Bahamian investors will contribute more than 50 percent of the funds to redevelop the port in a bid to keep the ownership structure in Bahamian hands.
“This is not the sale of the Prince George Dock,” he said. “The Bahamian people will retain ownership.”
D’Aguilar added that GPH will have a concession period of 25 years to operate the port at a total investment of $250 million.
He said negotiations with GPH will begin “now”.
The redevelopment of Nassau’s cruise port is expected to be the catalyst for the redevelopment of the city of Nassau.
D’Aguilar said this redevelopment is high on the government’s list of priorities.
“The reinvigoration of downtown is very, very important to the government,” he said.
When GPH announced its plans for the port publicly, it insisted that shares in the port would go to all Bahamians who wanted a stake. The structure would allow Bahamians to finance the shares in lieu of dividend payments.
The company, which is in London and traded on its stock exchange, also committed to helping small businesses to flourish in the new port when it is completed.