Government Defends Port of Belize Acquisition Amid Criticisms
Minister of the Public Service and Constitutional and Political Reform Henry Charles Usher says the government’s acquisition of the Port of Belize will greatly benefit the country. This month, GOB announced that it struck a deal with the Ashcroft Alliance to purchase all its shares in the port and six hundred acres of land for almost two hundred million dollars. The move has been criticized by both the opposition and the former Prime Minister, who both agree the government grossly overpaid for the port. However, Usher says the government got its money’s worth and was able to bundle in outstanding legal settlements.
Usher also responded to the letter sent to the Prime Minister from the Port of Big Creek owners, who expressed immense disappointment in the GOB’s decision.
Henry Charles Usher, Min. of Constitutional & Political Reform and Religious Affairs: “I will always be an advocate for competition and for all those years where the Port of Belize there was no investment in the Port of Belize, where businesses were leaving the Port of Belize because there was a lack of investment, because the pier is too short for their ships to birth there the port in Big Creek was getting the benefit of that. Now there’s competition it just means that they have to provide a service that is better than the competition. But they already have their contracts so those contracts should not be affected. That’s a private contract between BSI and the Port in Big Creek so that cannot be affected and their contracts are legally binding documents so it’s not like because the government acquired the Port of Belize that all of those contracts will be cancelled, absolutely not.”
Thamar Jones, Host, The Morning Show: “But is there any stipulation that the government would not acquire the port before Big Creek –
Henry Charles Usher, Min. of Constitutional & Political Reform and Religious Affairs: “If there was any stipulation it did not come from the Government of Belize I can tell you that.”
Ernesto Vasquez, Host, The Morning Show: Because they’re claiming that they were, not promised but told that government would not acquire that.
Henry Charles Usher, Min. of Constitutional & Political Reform and Religious Affairs: “There’s a song that Bob Marley sings, you know the song Thamar ?”
Thamar Jones, Host, The Morning Show: Which one ?
Henry Charles Usher, Min. of Constitutional & Political Reform and Religious Affairs: “About a promise?”
Usher also stated that the government will focus on reforming the port and improving the facility.