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Carnival Cruise Port groundbreaking in East Grand Bahama signifies investor confidence says DPM



#TheBahamas, May 12, 2022 – The Groundbreaking Ceremony for Carnival Cruise Port shows investor confidence in Grand Bahama, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. I. Chester Cooper, May 12, 2022. It was a festive atmosphere, with land cleared for the occasion. It was decorated with tents and carpet, the unpaved roads smoothed, music playing, and guests laughing and enjoying themselves to the local entertainment provided.

During his brief remarks, Deputy Prime Minister Cooper described the day as great day and week for Grand Bahama and added that with the announcement of a new buyer for the Grand Lucayan on Wednesday and the groundbreaking ceremony for Carnival Cruise Port on Thursday, it is “another step towards a Grand life for Grand Bahama.”

He said, “Today’s groundbreaking represents not only a major investment in Grand Bahama and The Bahamas, but also signals to the world that Grand Bahama is poised for the future and on the way to the forefront as one of the region’s premier destinations. It will tell the global community that if there was any doubt, Grand Bahama and indeed The Bahamas is open for business.” A

lso present for the ceremony were Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe, Minister of Housing and Transport the Hon. JoBeth ColebyDavis, Minister for Grand Bahama the Hon. Ginger Moxey, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Myles LaRoda, other senior government officials, officials of Carnival and officials from the Grand Bahama Port Authority.

In the past few months, said the Deputy Prime Minister, the government and Carnival went to the table and assessed their needs and got it done.

“We see this project on the island of Grand Bahama as a priority.” With Carnival, he said, it is mutually beneficial as there will be entrepreneurial opportunities for residents and not just jobs. Carnival understands, continued the Deputy Prime Minister, that success for them means success for Grand Bahama.

“Many have said there is not much to do in Grand Bahama, but Team Tourism has showed me otherwise. Today I have a better appreciation for the tourism product than I realized, and I want you to know that the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry for Grand Bahama will be working together, and we are going to tell our own story.

“With this development and others, Grand Bahama is poised to be a success story and the people of Grand Bahama have endured very much. But what I’ve found to be the case in Grand Bahamians is a resilience that I haven’t seen many other places. “

In the past two decades, I have gained renewed admiration and respect for the people of Grand Bahama. A renewed appreciation for the potential for Grand Bahama Island. You don’t give up here. You don’t fall to despair. You take your licks; you get up and you keep on moving.”

As a result of this, he added, residents get to celebrate events such as the groundbreaking for Carnival Cruise Port. The Deputy Prime Minister arrived in Grand Bahama for the press conference on Wednesday to announce that Electra America Hospitality Group will purchase the Grand Lucayan resort for $100 million and provide some 3,000 jobs between construction and full time.

Eighty percent of the jobs, he said, will be for Bahamians.


Header: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. I. Chester Cooper (left) is seen being greeted by Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe for the groundbreaking ceremony of Carnival Cruise Port on Thursday. Also seen are Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey greeting Christine Duffy, President, Carnival Cruise Line as Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation and other Carnival team members look on. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

1st insert: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. I. Chester Cooper described the Groundbreaking Ceremony of Carnival Cruise Port as a grand day for Grand Bahama. He is seen addressing the ceremony as Vice-President of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Sarah St. George and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for Grand Bahama, Harcourt Brown look on. Prime Minister, the Hon. Philip Davis and other members of the Cabinet were also present.


(BIS Photo/Lisa Davis

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Bahamas News

Work of NAECOB critical in ensuring high standards in education, says Minister Hanna-Martin



By KATHRYN CAMPBELLBahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas, March 29, 2023 – Over 100 schools in New Providence, public and private, and some 30 plus schools in Freeport have been inspected by The National Accreditation and Equivalency Council (NAECOB) to ensure high quality standards for the delivery of education.
“We will cover every island, every cay in this country to make certain that the facilities that we send our children to are adequate, conducive for learning, safe and sound for education,” said Thelma Grimes, chairperson, NAECOB.
“We are going to head to Cat Island and all the others before June.This is our announced visit. They [schools] have a chance to get things fixed that are not finished and [afterwards] we will have the unannounced.”
The Council informed the media of its progress during a briefing Monday, March 20, 2023 at its headquarters, Tonique Williams-Darling Highway.
Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member explained that the council’s seven inspectors are tasked with visiting every site or virtual space operating the following: primary/secondary schools, private/secondary, post-secondary, recognized, training, allied health and business institutions among others.
 Mr. Newbold said inspections include an examination of:
 -Safety and security standards-Human security which begins at the entrance to the property’-Physical security: safety mechanisms including smoke detectors, fire alarms and extinguishers (service date verification, and evacuation plan)-Primary grounds, playground equipment, swing sets and slides-Curriculum-Information management system (student records, staff schedules, registration certificate with NAECOB, business license, photos of the national leaders etc.)
The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Institute thanked NAECOB for their efforts. She described their work as “critical” and a part of an overall national thrust to ensure that the quality of education in the country is at a high standard.“We’re the Ministry of Education and they’re our schools. We are accountable to NAECOB. They ensure that what is happening on the campuses throughout the nation meets the physical standards and the qualitative standards of education. You would have heard classroom size and teacher/student ratio. We may have challenges, and we do at the Ministry of Education but when these issues are brought to our attention we are obliged and compelled to seek resolution to ensure that the standards are met.
“This is a quality assurance measure for the Ministry itself and our schools to ensure that public and private and public schools meet these standards. We value that. Because the objective of the Ministry is to ensure that we meet the standards so that our young people who enter these institutions are afforded the best opportunity possible.
 “Education is a cultural value; a norm. We submit ourselves to the work of NAECOB to ensuring what happens is done at least to make the acceptable standards of the delivery of education in our schools,” she said.
Cassia Minnis, registration officer, said “registration” certifies that a local educational institution/provider has met the criteria to offer an educational service in The Bahamas as outlined in the Education Act. She said it is mandatory that all educational institutions/provider offering/proposing to offer an educational service in the Bahamas must be registered according to the NAECOB Act and the Education Act.
 She said NAECOB is aware of “small” schools operating within residential homes and warned that this is in contravention of the law.
She encouraged the public to view listings of all registered institutions on the website at
NAECOB is responsible for registering and accrediting primary schools, secondary schools, post-secondary schools, and any institution that offers training in The Bahamas.

BIS Photos/Mark Ford

Header: Seated at the table, from left: – Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin; Dominique McCartney Russell, Acting Director; Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer; Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson; Howard Newbold, Inspector, Council Member; Shena Williams, Council and Inspector; Dorothy Anderson, Inspector; T. Nicola McKay, Deputy Chairperson;  (seated behind) Willard Barr, Council and Inspector.

1st insert: Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson

2nd insert: Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member

3rd insert: The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training

4th insert: Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer

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Bahamas News

Bahamas Golden Jubilee Events Announced, Celebrations Across 33 Islands & Cays



#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – As the 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence approaches, Bahamians everywhere are teeming with excitement and expectancy around the year-long celebrations set by The National Independence Secretariat.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister joined H.E Leslia Miller Brice, Chair of The National Independence Secretariat to unveil the Calendar of Events for the 50th Independence celebrations.

The calendar comprises a host of events, initiatives and recommendations for celebrations throughout all 33 islands of The Bahamas.

At this jubilant occasion the PM stated, “Celebrating independence is about acknowledging the greatness around us, the greatness within us, and the greatness ahead of us.

We are Bahamians. That identity is special.”

View the newly released calendar of events here:…

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: 12,362 Seniors Registered Under New Social Pension Programme



#Kingston, March 28, 2023 – There are currently 12,362 seniors registered under the Government’s new Social Pension Programme.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, made the disclosure during the sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House on March 2, at Gordon House.

The initiative targets all Jamaican citizens 75 years and older who are not currently in receipt of a pension (overseas or local) or any other retirement, old-age or disability benefit or regular income, and are not living in a government institutionalised care facility.

“We are evaluating the manner in which we qualify persons to go on the programme. This is a discussion we will have to have, as some people fall through the cracks simply because they might have a refrigerator, or they might be lucky enough to have a television at home,” Mr. Samuda said.

“The direction in which we are heading, to have those things, does not move you from poverty to prosperity. So, the Government has an obligation to do everything possible to improve their quality of life, and so we will be looking at that,” the Minister added.

Mr. Samuda said between March 2022 and January 2023, the programme disbursed $446 million.

To register for the social pension programme, persons may visit any of the Ministry’s parish offices islandwide.

They will be required to complete a social pension application form, accompanied by their Tax Registration Number (TRN), National Insurance Scheme (NIS) card, and proof of age in the form of a birth certificate or a valid passport.

They should also take along a valid identification (ID), such as a driver’s licence, passport or voter’s ID, proof of bank account and any other document that may be required to process the application, for example, proof of citizenship.

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