Prime Minister Perry Christie has announced that he will meet with executives from Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) early next week to sign a new agreement regarding the Bahamas Telecommunication Company (BTC), the details of which are yet to be announced. Tribune 242 writes that the government concluded negotiations with the UK-based group last month but the PM chose to delay the announcement until 14 January, when the cabinet will ‘cross the t’s and dot the i’s’ on the deal, before making a public statement alongside CWC’s senior officials.
The government sold a 51% stake in BTC to CWC in April 2011, although following a change of government the following year, the state has since sought to reclaim majority holding in the company. The matter is of crucial importance to the current government, which surged to victory in the 2012 general elections on the back of promises to reverse the unpopular privatisation of the telco. Commenting on the agreement, Christie refused to comment on whether the government would be able to deliver on its election promise, saying: ‘Obviously we have something to announce. I would want to be able to explain and have with me the negotiating committee so we can explain the entire agreement that we have arrived at. It is even more significant than BTC shares. I think it is going to be important for me to speak to the Bahamian public and to remove the speculation from the public firstly that I could not do it, and secondly that I was wasting my time; so all of that now will be answered and we will be able to show the Bahamian people what we arrived at.’