Nassau, Bahamas, October 11, 2016 – Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie announced, on October 10, 2016, that an exigency order for properly-approved, privately-imported items would be instituted on Tuesday, October 11, and supplies assigned to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) will be given duty and VAT free privilege, with no processing fee being assessed would for those NEMA goods.
“Emergency supplies — such as water, tarpaulins, generators, personal and building supplies — not assigned to NEMA or a recognized charity would be released upon confirmation by NEMA,” Prime Minister Christie said at a press conference at NEMA Headquarters, Gladstone Road.
“Therefore, any — so to speak — unauthorized purchase or importation must ultimately be approved my NEMA, if you are going to access the privileges offered by the Ministry of Finance,” he added.
Any abuser of those procedures would receive penalties under Customs Management Act, he warned.
Prime Minister Christie noted that the Customs Department had set up a telephone hotline in New Providence at 377-7027 or 377-7030 for persons seeking more information. For Grand Bahamas and the Family Islands, he said that persons should contact their local Customs office.
Prime Minister Christie said that given the economic costs of the disaster, Prime Minister Christie said, the Government is exploring the option of issuing — through its normal mechanism — a hurricane recovery and reconstruction bond.
In showing the possible immensity of the cost of Hurricane Matthew, Prime Minister Christie said that you could easily multiple the dollar value of the damage and recovery efforts to be easily three to four times that of the cost of last year’s Hurricane Joaquin — which was estimated at some $100 million.
“This will be very much more than Joaquin: enormous damage on thousands of Bahamians, who were not so affected in such number by Hurricane Joaquin,” Prime Minister Christie said.
The purpose of the funds raised by the bonds would be to have an accelerated reconstruction timeline, provide assistance to individuals affected by the hurricane and to provide assistance to small and medium-sized businesses, he said. “Small and medium-sized businesses are significant contributors to the economy of The Bahamas,” he said.
Prime Minister Christie stated that the Government needs to be innovative in recognizing that there are some people who are going to need help in being able to meet the requirements of their insurance policies and mortgages for lost homes.
He noted that the Government sees having oversight as a “critical” component in the success to the recovery and reconstruction process, and appropriate and respected individuals inclusive of those from the private sector have been selected for such a proposed oversight.
Prime Minister Christie added that, with immediate effect, the Government will continue its consultation with the private sector, with a view to ensuring that all are in agreement with the steps being taken as they all go forward.
“Because, in the final analysis, we do not have room for doubting our capacity to recover,” Prime Minister Christie said. “We must know that our country has been through adversity before, and that we are not going to be broken or bowed by this. Working together, we will overcome all of the obstacles in our path.”
Prime Minister the Rt Hon Perry Christie speaks with young people, whose homes were severely damaged during the passage Hurricane Matthew. The Prime Minister, Director of NEMA Captain Stephen Russell, and other high-ranking officials carried out an assessment on Saturday, October 8, 2016 to Lowe Sound, Andros and West End, Grand Bahama the areas hardest hit by the storm.
(BIS Photo/Eric Rose)
Minister of Social Services the Hon Melanie Griffin looks at destruction during an assessment of the destruction in Lowe Sound, Andros, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew. Also on the trip were Prime Minister the Rt Hon Perry Christie, Director of NEMA Captain Stephen Russell, and other high-ranking officials. The assessment took place on Saturday, October 8, 2016. (BIS Photo/Eric Rose)
Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation
#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – The just-concluded General Election in Bahamas has presented a new shift in governance. The former ruling part, Free National Movement, lost nearly all the electoral seats it secured in the 2017 general elections. However, this seems a swap of the Progressive Liberal party’s score in the 2017 general elections in which the former ruling party (FNM) won nearly all the parliamentary seats.
68,000 STAYED AWAY
While the FNM secured 35 out of 39 seats in the 2017 ballot, leaving only four slots for the Opposition, the 2021 elections presented “new day” with the Opposition clinching 32 parliamentary seats, leaving the former ruling party FNM with only seven slots.
However, the election results showed a significant drop in voter turnout compared to the 2017 election results. Out of 194,494 registered voters in The Bahamas, only 126,414 voted, translating to 65 per cent voter turnout.
PREVIOUS ELECTION HIGHER
This was different from the previous election in which 160,407 out of 181,543 registered voters cast their ballots, translating to a remarkable 88.36 per cent voter turnout.
Being the first election in the island nation since the Covid-19 struck the Caribbean; the dismal voter turnout could be attributed to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in The Bahamas and the current countermeasures taken by individuals to avoid contracting the deadly virus.
It could also be voter apathy.
BEST IN SHOW
Despite coronavirus prevalence in the country, North Andros & Berry Islands, Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and Mangrove Cay & South Andros constituencies recorded an impressive voter turnout of 77.99 per cent, 76.11 per cent and 73.06 per cent respectively.
North Andros & Berry Islands had 2,126 out of 2,569 registered voters cast their ballots, followed by 1,255 out of 1,622 in Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and 1,706 out of 2,164 registered voters in Mangrove Cay & South Andros.
VERY LOW SHOW
The bottom three constituencies in terms of voter turnout include Bamboo Town, which had 3,436 out of 5,838 (58.63 per cent) registered voters cast their ballot, followed by Garden Hills with 3,033 out of 5,287 (57.09 per cent), and Central & South Abaco falling at the bottom of the list with 1,844 out of 3,271 (55.96 per cent).
COVID Works programme launched by Ministry of Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development
#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021 – The Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development, the Honourable Akierra Mary Deanne Missick and the Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development team are pleased to announce the launch of the COVID WORKS Programme, that went live on September 1, 2021.
The Programme seeks to support many who have lost jobs and livelihoods, while providing labour intensive work for economic exchange opportunities for persons to be engaged.
Works are set out in three (3) levels and comprise a variety of categories example, cleaning, road works, demolition and general construction to name a few.
Level 1 – value $1,500 – $9,999
Level 2 – value $10,000 – $39,999
Level 3 – value $40,000 – $70,000
Commenting on the launch of the programme, Hon. Missick said, “We are very much mindful of the impact that restrictions introduced by Government in an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, has had on the islands, many continue to experience financial hardship. Whilst, the hospitality and construction sectors in Providenciales have rebounded well, as an Administration, we cannot rest knowing that other industries are still limping along.
As a result, during the remainder of this financial year, the Turks & Caicos Islands Government has now launched the COVID Works Programme to provide an opportunity for Petty and Small Contractors to assist the Government in the enhancement of our communities, through programmed works, to the benefit of all of us as residents”.
The Minister went on to note, “This Programme is set to the tune of US$5,000,000.00, and works will be rolled out across the Islands in batches, as we have to ensure that we do not go beyond the allotted expenditure and that financial oversight and transparency are maintained.”
The initial batch of works for South Caicos, which comprised the following, was returned and evaluated on Monday, September 13, 2021 and included:
Demolition- Queen’s Shed
Demolition- Distribution Concrete Tank
Demolition- Old Clinic Building
Demolition- DECR Building
Demolition- Library Building
Repair of Water Cistern
Works for Grand Turk included:
Demolition- Blood Bank Building
Demolition- Geriatric Ward Building
Demolition- Kitchen Building
Demolition- X-ray Building
All returning bids must be sent to the COVID Works email at email@example.com
Kindly note that as of Monday, September 20, 2021, the following works are planned to be released:
Beach Cleaning (Eastern portion of Grand Turk)
Street Cleaning (All areas)
Beach cleaning (Areas of Shore Club and Five Cays)
Street Cleaning (All areas)
A number of other works for Middle & North Caicos, as well as Salt Cay will be released shortly. This is a six month program that will spread throughout the TCI and we encourage persons to continue to register via firstname.lastname@example.org or the local Public Works Department and District Commissioners’ offices, to be eligible for this opportunity.
These works will continue on a monthly basis and the programme will come to an end in March 2022.
BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in
#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis today introduced the first set of new Cabinet ministers with portfolios covering the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Education, Works and Public Utilities, Health and Wellness, Government Affairs, Agriculture, National Security and Legal Affairs.
The nine ministers were sworn-in on Monday 20 September 2021 by Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith during ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Center.
“They are the initial members of a Cabinet which will reflect the breadth and depth of the competencies and characteristics of our team: experience combined with innovation; expertise combined with a willingness to see things anew; integrity and a strong sense of purpose,” said Prime Minister Davis.
“They are receiving these appointments because of their determination to get things done.”
- Senator the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, Attorney General;
- Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service;
- Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training;
- Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities;
- Dr. Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness;
- Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Government Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;
- Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs;
- Hon. Wayne Munroe, Minister of National Security; and
- Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of State for Legal Affairs.
“I am confident that these first-appointed members of our Cabinet team are ready to deliver on the promise of a New Day for our Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Davis pledged to move with urgency to address the economic and health crises that are faced by The Bahamas.
Many thousands of Bahamians are out of work, people are losing too many loved ones to the COVID-19 virus and Bahamian schoolchildren are falling behind, said Prime Minister Davis.
“I want to be clear: we are not here to tinker at the edges of these problems,” said the Prime Minister.
“We are here to meet them head on.”
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