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Aug 17, 2021

Government’s Deal with Speednet, is it Nepotistic?

The recent announcement that the Government of Belize has contracted the services of Smart as a telecoms provider for various ministries, including foreign affairs and rural development, has been met with strong objections from various quarters.  The president of the Public Service Union is on record stating his dismay with government’s decision to transition from similar services being offered by B.T.L., a company which it owns.  The United Democratic Party has also joined the chorus, criticizing the move as, “nepotistic and hypocritical.” Former Minister of Trade and Economic Development Tracy Panton weighed in on the issue earlier today, pointing to the composition of shareholders in both companies.


Tracy Panton

Tracy Panton, Former Minister of Trade & Economic Development

“Let me say that in the case of B.T.L., forty-nine percent of the shares owned by the Government of Belize, that is our taxpayers dollars that has been invested.  Another thirty-four percent has been invested by S.S.B.  That, my friends, are our social security contributions that have been invested and another eight percent by the Central Bank of Belize.  Whatever proceeds we get from our foreign exchange earnings, some of that has been invested in B.T.L.  That is ninety-one percent of the shares that belong to the Belizean people.  I say to you that this move is the most, in my humble view, the most egregious display of nepotism by the government, this current government, this blue government, P.U.P. government.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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