All kinds of distractions have now come since the revelations about the millions of dollars in the United States Stocks once held by NIB being sold off by the Minnis Government. First they blamed the Central Bank Governor for lending the government advice on the sale. And now we see the comments completely attempting to run away from the SCANDAL!

Firstly, the assertion that “no elected official or public servant in the Bahamian government gave any instruction to NIB or would have been allowed to give any instruction to the NIB on how to conduct its investment operations – including the sale of any equity,” is incorrect and not true.

As outlined in the 11th actuarial valuation of NIB as of 31 December 2018, it is noted under the section on investment portfolio and policy, that “The Board shall not invest outside of The Bahamas without the general or specific direction of the Minister of Finance.” The Minister for Finance could only then point to Former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis. Unless he didn’t know what his teams were doing in his government.

This guidance, we are advised, also covers decisions to sell investments outside of The Bahamas.

The groundwork for the portfolio was started in 2011 and continued under the Christie administration.

Going further, we wish to outline the process that should have been followed.

Once executive management agreed that the investment portfolio should be liquidated, the decision would have been discussed with the Investment sub-committee of the Board of Directors. The Chair of the sub-committee would have then taken the recommendation to the Board for approval.

We can confirm that the aforementioned process was not followed.

We can also confirm that there was no audit investment report or analysis presented to justify the decision to liquidate the US investments.

We note the reference to a recommendation by the Governor of the Central Bank; however, this suggestion was not made with any input from NIB, as no audit investment report was provided by NIB.
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Finally, we wish to point out as a reminder to the former Financial Secretary that the decision to liquidate the US investment portfolio occured in 2020 – a year in which $1.3 billion was borrowed.

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