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Former PM Dean Barrow Comments on BTL/DIGI

The former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance also weighed in on the BTL saga involving Smart. As you will remember, it was the Barrow administration that enshrined national ownership of the company in the Constitution. The former prime minister remains firm in his belief that BTL was a sound investment, which will yield promising returns.

Dean Barrow, Former Prime Minister of Belize: “It’s a major investment and I still think that it was a good investment. It was an investment dearly bought, it was an investment that cost us a lot in terms of blood and treasure but ultimately it’s an investment that would have more than paid for itself. Over the long run we enshrined the public ownership in the constitution. Of course the current administration has the constitutional supermajority to change that, I hope they wouldn’t go that far and I don’t think they would but the public ownership over a long stretch of history would have paid for itself and there was no doubt that in terms of the improvements to their network that BTL made under nationalized ownership the Fiber to the Home agenda, the internet in schools not just the free internet the programs that see people using the Microsoft 365 under the egis of BTL the fact that in terms of bandwidth, in terms of speed, in terms of efficiency the huge investment firstly with Huawei just as how in the same way I was convinced that what we paid for the acquisition of the company would have over the long term fetched the government and people very hefty and healthy returns likewise whatever we paid for the investment in improving the network was going to pay off. The fact that we could have boasted at one point that we were way up there in terms of a global ranking of course BTL had already started to experience some problems because of the huge capital investment, because of the huge investments period and not being able to recoup or to reap the profits very quickly so there clearly were some incipient difficulties in terms of the bottom-line.”