Bahamas News

ZNS facing privatization

K Peter Turnquest

Nassau, Bahamas June 8, 2017 The Broadcasting Company of the Bahamas (ZNS) is one of many state enterprises facing privatization as the government seeks to curb debts.

The possible private sector handover was brought up by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister K. Peter Turnquest during the Budget Debate. Funding for state enterprises in the 2017-2018 budget totals $429 million, which Turnquest described as “clearly unsustainable.” This figure is $79 million more than it was in the 2016-2017 budget. Turnquest said government would “develop concrete action plans to transform these enterprises either into viable, efficient and self-sufficient entities.”

Recently, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said the Free National Movement would ensure that ZNS was no longer used as a “state propaganda machine” as under the previous administration. Minnis said ZNS would be transformed into a properly functioning broadcast company free from “political manipulation.”

Before the election, talk show host Darold Miller had his show put on hiatus following an intense interview of then Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis related to the $1.4 billion VAT spending. In previous years, other hosts, such as Steve McKinney have been fired for alleged political affiliations.

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