Parliament to Debate Southern Deep Port Development Bill

Parliament to Debate Southern Deep Port Development Bill

Parliamentarians will convene for a House Meeting tomorrow where several crucial Bills will be tabled.  One of those is the Southern Deep Port Development Facility Bill 2024.  It is a Bill that has to do with the Commerce Bight Pier that will provide for certain concessions, meaning the exemptions from taxes and duties.  According to Area Representative for Dangriga, Dr. Louis Zabaneh, it is a crucial step for residents in the area as the facility has been defunct for over a decade and could prove beneficial in areas of development and employment.

Dr.Louis Zabaneh, Dangriga Area Representative: “The Commerce Bight Port which is on the south southern end of Dangriga, it’s about 1.5 miles south of Dangriga has been closed for over two decades and our people have been agitating and agitating for it to be reopened. In the case of the Commerce Bight Port PM in his wisdom created a subcommittee of three ministers who looked at it in detail and now it’s gotten to the stage where the bill will be presented on Thursday, the details of which will be discussed then but from the people of Dangriga we are excited, we are very grateful that it has gotten to this point because on the 19th of November 2022 all the media houses that interviewed me about the port and I had shared with them what we knew at that time that it is for small cruise ships, these are what are called the luxury boats that would be anywhere between say 150 to 500. The difference here is that the people on these boats stay much longer, they’re mostly retirees with higher disposable income and they spend five to six times more than the people who come off the big boats. And they are of course looking for higher quality service. So the multipurpose part ties into that because as that is being built we already have programs that we have developed and we are continuing to develop working closely with the ITVET, working closely with the Institute that I founded BIL that works in areas of leadership, of development and all these areas, business development, entrepreneurship etc. that would be needed. Because we want our people in Dangriga to be at the forefront of all of this. So that they will be the ones you see when you go to the restaurants, to the stores, they will be the ones that will be taking the tourists around. So we have about a year to prepare. We’ve been saying this to our people we need to prepare very well because if you imagine two or three of these small ships at Commerce Bight you’re talking between the three of them, maybe a thousand people at one time. We have to be able to serve those people and of course benefit economically and so that that can have direct impact on the quality of life of our people.”

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