FNM cronies losing money after govt pulls plug on travel visas
Influential Free National Movement supporters are seeing red after the Davis Administration pulled the plug on the money making scheme known as the travel health visa.
FNM National Campaign Coordinator Nigel Lewis is one of the principals of the company that received a no-bid contract under the one-term Minnis Administration to collect health visa fees.
However, their pockets took a massive hit when the new government announced the elimination of travel health visas for domestic travel and Bahamians returning home from abroad, within weeks of taking office.
Millions of dollars in health visa fees were deposited into an account the company shared with the Ministry of Tourism.
Up to March 31, 2021, $2.4 million surplus funds had been received from the visa system. Revenues were $9.8 million and expenses were $7.4 million.
However, with thousands of Bahamians no longer required to spend $25 for a health visa every time they jump on a plane, Lewis and Co’s money tree is drying up.
To satisfy those angry party supporters, new FNM leader Michael Pintard sought to guilt the new government into reinstating the health visa program as a means of curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
However, skeptics see through Pintard’s stab at relevance and have questioned the logic in an expensive health visa when Bahamians are still required to provide a negative Covid test to travel.