Wed, May 27th 2009, 12:00 AM
Communication to Parliament on Clico (Bahamas) Ltd. by Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham, Prime Minister
In my previous Communication to Parliament in respect of Clico (Bahamas) Limited (Clico), I gave some background information on the Company and on events leading to the decision to Petition to the Supreme Court of The Bahamas for that Company to be placed into compulsory liquidation.
I, therefore, wish to focus this Statement on the Government?s decisions in this matter going forward, having regard to the proposals made by the Liquidator for the sale of some of Clico?s insurance business, and the protection of policyholders and annuitants of Clico.
Prior to outlining the Government?s decisions, it is necessary to indicate to this Honourable House the preliminary findings of the Registrar of Insurance Companies as to the financial condition of Clico.
The Office of the Registrar of Insurance Companies advises that there is a gap between the assets and liabilities of Clico leaving a net liability of $42 million. There are realizable assets estimated at $85 million, and adjusted liabilities of $127 million. Policy liabilities are estimated at $73 million and other liabilities at $54 million. As policy liabilities may have a first claim on all assets it is therefore expected that policy liabilities are fully covered.
Notwithstanding that ultimate circumstance, many policyholders have expectations that day-to-day contractual obligations arising under the terms of their different policies should be honoured if they continue to keep such insurance policies in force, by virtue of the payment of their insurance premiums. In order for this expectation on the part of policyholders to have any hope of realization it is necessary to sell that part of Clico?s insurance business relating to such policyholders liabilities to one or more active insurance companies with the capability of successfully managing the assets and servicing the liabilities.
We are advised that insurance companies are unwilling to purchase Clico?s policies and assume the possible exposure of $30 million without a Government Guarantee.
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Wed, May 27th 2009, 12:00 AM
Tue, May 26th 2009, 12:00 AM
Nassau, Bahamas ? The Ministry of Public Works and Transport and Bahamas Construction International Limited have signed a $2.3 million contract for the structural refurbishment of Prince George Wharf and installation of mooring bollards there. It will allow Prince George Wharf to accommodate mega cruise ships. ?On completion of this project along with the project to dredge the harbor, it is expected that Prince George Wharf will be equipped to dock these larger vessels at piers with new and upgraded bollards and dolphins that are able to withstand the forces exerted by these vessels,? said Minister of Public Works and Transport the Hon. Neko Grant.
During signing ceremony at the Ministry of Public Works, J. F. Kennedy Drive, Nassau, on Monday, Mr. Grant said it was after an ?arduous? and ?meticulous? bidding process that Wayne ?Tony? Cargill was identified as the contractor. The work includes refurbishing existing bollards, replacing condemned bollards, construction of new concrete footings for new bollards, and the upgrading of bollards to accommodate increasing mooring capacity.
Mr. Grant said work is expected to commence within four weeks and be completed within 30 weeks. He said his Ministry is working with representatives of the cruise industry, relevant Government agencies, and other stakeholders to minimize logistical challenges.
Mr. Cargill, president of Bahamas Construction International, said his company plans to hire 12-15 persons on the project. The work entails removing bollards that are deteriorated beyond repair. ?We will remove the footing down to a depth specified within the plans and replace it with new concrete and new bollards," he said. "There will also be sand blasting and painting of the existing bollards that are in good condition."
Photo: Prince George Wharf will be able to accommodate mega cruise ships. A contract was signed to upgraded docking facilities. Pictured above, Minister of Works, Neko Grant, congratulates Wayne ?Tony? Cargill, president of Bahamas Construction International Limited on being awarded the contract. Pictured on Monday, May 25, 2009 from left are Kirk Bullard, senior structural engineer; Mr. Grant; Mr. Cargill; Permanent Secretary, Colin Higgs, and Acting Director of Works, Gordon Major. (BIS photo/Letisha Henderson)
Lucaya International School sixth grade students holding food drive for the Grand Bahama Children's Home
Tue, May 26th 2009, 12:00 AM
Sun, May 24th 2009, 12:00 AM
EXUMA -- Captain Robert Arrington and the Florida-based 'Reel Adventures' crew came out to experience Staniel Cay and the Exumas in mid-February 2009. The three man team was astounded by the sights, sounds, and activities of the Out Islands.
Snorkeling with stingrays, petting sharks, spearfishing, free-diving, and SCUBA diving, Staniel Cay Yacht Club impressed the show's host and crew with more than just first-class fishing.
Sneak peeks of this colourful adventure show can be seen on YouTube:
Staniel Cay Episode 1, Part 1
Staniel Cay Episode 1, Part 2
The show will also be airing on the following TV networks:
FSN: Fox Sports Net
Thursday May 28th @ 11:30 AM
Friday May 29th @ 12:30 PM
CSS: Comcast Sports
Monday May 25th @ 9:30 AM
LSC: Lone Star
Monday May 25th @ 1:30 PM
Wednesday May 27th @ 6:30 PM
WFN: World Fishing Network
Tuesday May 26th @ 9:30 AM
Thursday May 28th @ 5:30 PM
Photo: Show host Robert Arrington enjoys a fishing adventure in the Exuma Cays.
Fri, May 22nd 2009, 12:00 AM
A commercial fishery operation targeting the invasive Lionfish species could produce a "win-win? situation for the Bahamian economy, fishing industry and the environment, a leading environmental consultant told Tribune Business Wednesday, generating the perfect ?triple bottom line? impact.
Keith Bishop, co-principal of Islands by Design and head of environmental management for Abaco?s Schooner Bay development, said a fishing trip sponsored by the project?s head, Orjan Lindroth, had provided an insight into the possible economic impact a commercial fishing operation targeting Lionfish could have.
The four-day fishing trip sponsored by Mr Lindroth and Schooner Bay netted more than 1,200 Lionfish, a profitable catch if it was to be turned into money.
Praising Mr Lindroth?s initiative, Mr Bishop explained: ?We put it to the test locally because we had a huge number of the species here, in the area of Crossing Rock. It was something that was readily accepted by the local fishermen. ?We offered a bounty of $1.50 per piece, and one individual pulled in 250 of them in a day. He was able to make himself $375 in one day. Not bad money for an out-of-season fisherman.?
The Bahamian environmental consultant pointed out that apart from the local Bahamian and resident population, there was an immediate market for Lionfish as food from the five million tourists that visited the Bahamas every year.
Lionfish, when properly filleted, posed no threat to human health, Mr Bishop telling Tribune Business that one he had eaten had ?a pleasant taste,? with the product treated as a delicacy in the fish?s native Indo-Pacific region.
He said efforts to develop a Bahamian market for Lionfish as a delicacy had already begun, with New Providence resident Alexandra Maillis-Lynch, owner of Alexandra?s Catering and the August Moon Cafe, offering up to $8 per pound for the fish, up to 100 fish.
Lionfish are thought to have been introduced to Bahamian and Caribbean waters from household fish tanks. While small to medium-sized, they have no known predators in the Bahamas and breed rapidly, releasing up to 30,000 eggs once every 28 days. Found around reefs and marine structures, including marinas, shipwrecks, jetties and piers, their venom is poisonous, causing muscular and respiratory system distress in human victims.
But of far greater concern is that Lionfish feed on virtually anything - young groupers, crawfish (lobster), grunts and snappers. These are key products for the Bahamian fisheries industry, and the nation?s environment.
Mr Bishop yesterday warned that the Bahamian fisheries industry would suffer a ?huge negative impact? unless something was done to curtail the growth of the Lionfish population in the Bahamian waters. He added that, in the absence of a natural predator, Lionfish ?eat everything.? One fish he had cut open revealed stomach contents that included a host of small-scale fish and a small lobster.
By establishing a commercial fishing operation targeting Lionfish, Mr Bishop said the Bahamas would not only be removing an invasive species and protecting its environment, but also generating an economic return and providing work for fishermen - especially out-of-season. ?You?re removing an invader, but are able to provide food from it,? Mr Bishop explained.
?You?re removing a negative invader from the marine environment, but turning it into an economic upturn for persons who can find a market for it. I think it?s a win-win for everybody. We take an invader out and sell it as food.?
Mr Bishop said any commercial fishery did not necessarily have to be started by the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources, as maybe all the Government needed to do was teach Bahamians how to handle and catch Lionfish safely, then ?provide avenues to market.?
Lionfish could be caught and offered to Bahamian restaurateurs free - or for a nominal charge ? in order to stimulate interest among consumers in the region, it was suggested.
The Government and large Bahamas-based hotel chains could also step in as guaranteed buyers until the industry got off the ground, and cottage industries would spring up around it, creating a much-needed revenue source for local communities.
(Lionfish photo from www.friendsoftheenvironment.org)