Politics

Emotional farewell address from Grant

by: Abria Cooper, FN News Reporter - Published Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Member of Parliament for Central Grand Bahama, Neko Grant gave his final address in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, March 29, where, with unsteady voice confirmed that he would not seek re-election in the upcoming General Election.

 

“I now wish to reconfirm that I will not seek re-election in the upcoming General Election,” Grant stated.  

 

Grant spoke on his contributions to the growth and development of this country for 46 consecutive years in office.  

 

Noting that the boundaries of his constituency have changed in every General Election since 1992, Grant said, originally, the Eastern boundary was Seahorse Road in the east, and extended to Lewis Yard Primary School in the west.  

 

Now, the eastern boundary is Coral Road and it extends to Will Butler corner in Eight Mile Rock in the west.  

 

“I am extremely proud to have survived two political tsunamis – May 2, 2002 and May 7, 2012,” he said. 

 

On April 17, 2012 after nominating, in an interview with ZNS Northern Service in the presence of his wife, his grandson Danny, his sister Violet Wright, he informed the reporter Joan Davis-Rolle, that this was his last Election.

 

“When Dr. Hubert Minnis assumed the leadership of the FNM in May 2012, I informed him of my intention,” he said. 

 

Grant took the opportunity to thank the, “wonderful” people of Lucaya and Central Grand Bahama for their confidence, love and support in five consecutive Elections.

 

“I also thank the Members of Nek’s Team Lucaya and Nek’s Team Grand Bahama Central for their hard work, dedication and support over the years,” he said.  

 

Grant said that he is very pleased and proud of the personal accomplishments over the past 24 ½ years in his constituency – from ensuring that the residents of Royal Bahamian Estates, Mack Town, Hunters and Lewis Yard receive city water, the installation of street lights, for the first time throughout the constituency, to the transformation and beautification of the Williams/Russell Town shoreline.  

 

“The works are well documented,” he stated.  

 

Projects completed by Grant in the Lucaya and Central Grand Bahama Constituencies include – the construction of the C.A. Smith Building Complex, bringing about the construction of St. Georges’ High School and the Sister Mary Patricia Russell Junior High School.  

 

He was also responsible for the expansion of the Sister Mary Patricia Russell Junior High School with an additional eight-classroom block.  

 

“My Music Ministry is now celebrating its 21st Anniversary – the donation of musical instruments to churches, schools, Marching Bands and Junkanoo Groups, have positively impacted the lives of thousands of youngsters.  Marching Bands in Exuma and Eleuthera have been the beneficiaries of this project as well,” he said. 

 

According to Grant, schools in his constituency, St. Georges’ High and Sister Mary Patricia Junior High can boast of having the best Music Labs in the country, as they have been equipped with 20 Yahama keyboards, one piano and 20 violins, through his Music Ministry.

 

Lewis Yard Primary was also presented with wind instruments and keyboards. 

 

“I was also pleased to present computers to schools in my constituency. In the new fiscal year, focused attention will be given to the improvement and enhancement of recreational facilities throughout the constituency,” he said. 

 

Grant acquired land in Bahama Terrace for a Community Park and constructed public restrooms on Williams Town Beach and re-constructed the road leading to Williams Town Public Cemetery. Thereby providing ease of access to the monument of the Haitian Wreckage, which is a tourist attraction.  

 

He also helped to improve the infrastructure of Williams Town and Russell Town by transforming the foreshore. He caused the street lighting to be improved in Williams Town and Russell Town, Mack Town, Hunters, Lewis Yard, and Pinder’s Point.  

During his political career, Grant served as chairman of the Grand Bahama Housing Commission from 1992-1997 and as chairman of Bahamas Mortgage Corporation from 2000-2002.

 

Following the election in 2007, Grant was appointed Minister of Tourism and Aviation for one year. In July 2008, he was appointed Minister of Public Works and Transport, “A position I enjoyed and found most rewarding. I was honored to oversee the most comprehensive and ambitious infrastructure program in the history of this country,” he said. “I will forever remember August 14, 2008.  It was on this day that I landed in Rock Sound, Eleuthera just after sunrise and executed my first contract for road works.  I worked my way north, finishing in Harbour Island.  By sunset I had executed some $16 million in roadwork contracts for the island of Eleuthera,” he added. 

 

The events of August 14, 2008 launched “The Trust Agenda’s Infrastructure Crusade.” The projects and benefits of the Trust Agenda Infrastructure Crusade are well documented.  Most notable among them is the $150 million-plus New Providence Road Improvement Project.  

 

“Though challenging, New Providence road users are extremely pleased and enjoying the benefits of the new roads.  The quality of their lives has certainly been improved as a result,” he said. 

 

Grant thanked the former Member of Parliament for North Abaco and Prime Minister Hubert A. Ingraham, for affording him the opportunity to serve the Bahamian people through the appointed positions.

 

He also thanked the Prime Minister (Perry Christie) and his Ministers who have responded positively to requests he made of them over the past five years on behalf of his constituents.  

 

“In particular, the member for Golden Gates, Minister of Labour and National Insurance, Shane Gibson; the member for Golden Isles, State Minister for Finance, Michael Halkitis and the member for Fox Hill, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Fred Mitchell.

 

“As I leave, having contributed to the growth and development of this country for 46 consecutive years, my conscience is clear, my heart is pure and I am at peace with myself.  I propose to spend the rest of the years the good Lord grants me, enjoying my family and especially my grandchildren, Daniel Ashley and Nahla Melissa,” he said.

 

On Sunday, August 21, 2016 Grant announced that he would not be offering himself as a candidate for the upcoming 2017 General Election. Grant made this announcement during a press conference at his home in Bahama Terrace Freeport.

 

This was two weeks prior to the announcement that he was resigning as Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Assembly and the Free National Movement’s (FNM) shadow Works Minister.  

 

Published  Tuesday, April 4, 2017 

 

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