By Shanieka Smith
#TheBahamas, May 27, 2022 – The Bahamas Government opened up recently about spending for the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; the Royal visit in March costing the Commonwealth country in excess of $636,000 for ceremonial events and stay for William and Kate.
A preliminary financial statement has it that a bulk of the expense was paid in New Providence. According to the breakdown, $566,828.93 was paid out to New Providence businesses and vendors; $50,063.92 to Abaco vendors; and $18,107.15 to Grand Bahama vendors.
At least $76,141 went to ‘Wild Flowers’ for décor for the Royal Ball, school visit, and One Montague. For accommodation and meals, $34,657 was spent. Another $66,440 went to ‘Movi Company’ which provided large jumbo screens and digital and electronic work. Bahama Prints was paid $34,806 for welcome billboards and mesh. The New Providence Junkanoo Corporation was extended $21,000 for the Junkanoo event.
The Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas was paid $29,480 was paid for its broadcasting services, Bahamasair received $37,247 for air charter services, $12,000 went to ‘Janees’ Uniform Shop’ for uniforms for sloop sailors and payment to participants in the regatta event. Smaller vendors also accounted for some of the payments. Data shows that over 100 individuals and businesses were processed for payments.
Local Organizing Committee said it realized “significant assistance” by not having to engage or issue contracts for government buildings upgrades and improvements as the Ministry of Works was “very active and responsive in this area”. In addition, the Department of Environment cleaned main street arteries to ensure a spotless presentation.
Office of the Prime Minister press secretary, Clint Watson explained that the media spotlight and promotions for The Bahamas was immeasurable, reminding that The Bahamas was a chosen destination by the Royals, that The Bahamas has obligations as a member of the Commonwealth and that the UK always stands ready in support in times of crises.
According to the committee, at least $100,000 was saved because of the assistance provided by corporate Bahamas. The committee added that there will not be much need for infrastructural improvement and upgrades in preparation for Bahamas’ annual Independence Celebrations.
“It is difficult to quantify the tremendous benefits of the Royal Visit to The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Over forty international media houses from the UK and international graced our shores and recorded the wonders of The Bahamas and the beauty, charm, and warmth of our people,” said the LOC. It made note that the overarching goal was met through the various activities within education, sports, culinary delights, and meaningful interactions with the Bahamians.
The LOC expressed that a dollar value cannot be placed on the advantages of the recent visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; it said that Bahamians proved that they have made it common knowledge that they entertain Royalty with both class and pride.
Bahamas as Caribbean top 2024 Spring Destination
#Bahamas#Tourism, February 23rd, 2024 – The Bahamas has been categorized as the most popular Caribbean destination for travel in the upcoming spring season by travel insurance company Squaremouth, in a new report. It was the only Caribbean nation to make the list for the top 10 destinations. The report is derived from travel insurance purchases made through Squaremouth.
Regional Soldiers head to Jamaica to train for pending Haiti mission
#Haiti#KenyaMultinationalForce#CARICOM, February 22nd, 2024 – About 150 Bahamian soldiers are heading to Jamaica within the next one or two weeks for a joint training with Jamaican soldiers, in preparation for the pending Kenya led multinational force mission to Haiti according to Bahamian Defense Chief Commodore, Raymond King, in reports. Soldiers and security forces from Chile and Argentina will also travel to Jamaica for the training.
King informs that Kenya and Haiti are in the process of signing off on an agreement to allow Kenya to lead the force into Haiti, following advice from Kenya’s High Court which recently deemed Kenya’s decision to deploy police officers to the gang run nation as unconstitutional. This agreement includes a formal request for assistance from Haiti, allowing Kenya to legally intervene on the ground.
Major plans for The Bahamas announced Davis
#Bahamas#Development,February 22nd, 2024 – “Things are changing in The Bahamas,” were the words of Prime Minister Philip Davis as he outlined some of the Government’s plans to improve the nation through a decrease in the cost of living, enhanced security for Bahamians and the expansion of access to opportunities. Davis, who was presenting on February 21st, the Bahamas Mid-Year Review of the fiscal performance for the fiscal year 2023/2024, highlighted a long list of plans for the archipelago.
Here’s the full list stated in Davis’ address :
- A new energy policy and an expansion of renewable energy, including microgrids, and an emphasis on engaging local Bahamian firms and building local professional capacity;
- An expansion of Bahamian ownership in our economy, including support for entrepreneurs, small and medium sized enterprises, and an expansion of affordable housing –with hundreds of families moving into new homes by this summer;
- A modern and award-winning specialized tourism product, with new investments across our archipelago, and major visibility and branding campaigns in New York, Florida, and the UK;
- Progress on redeveloping downtown Nassau, long overdue;
- New commitments to education, including a Parental Engagement Unit; more teacher training, modernizing the curriculum, classroom enhancements, improving school attendance, and using the Renaissance testing results to design individualized support for students;
- An expansion of technical and vocational training, including certification at the high school level;
- An Empower Grand Bahama micro-grant programme for entrepreneurs; $1.5 billion in investments for Grand Bahama in the pipeline; the Beautiful Grand Bahama programme, in which collaboration has led to safer communities; and Collab Grand Bahama, which fosters partnerships between the government and the private sector to bring change and progress to Grand Bahama;
- Major upgrades to our health infrastructure;
- More support for our athletes and sports programmes;
- We’re on track to pave 65 miles of road in New Providence alone this year;
- Investments in NIB to improve fairness and efficiency;
- A National School Breakfast pilot programme, which is already giving thousands of our children breakfast in their primary schools, and is ready to expand;
- New classes, camps, lessons, and programmes at our Urban Renewal Centres;
- A Youth Guard to strengthen our capacity during national emergencies, and give more young Bahamians a path forward;
- A Task Force addressing unregulated shantytowns in New Providence and Abaco, with other islands to follow;
- The selection and training of new immigration officers;
- Saturation patrols and new investments and collaboration in crime prevention;
- A juvenile detention facility;
- A cadre of officers trained to recognize and manage psychiatric issues;
- Stronger partnerships and new patrol vessels to secure our nation’s borders;
- Major new investments across our Family Islands, including new airports, and road paving in Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Abaco, Long Island; Great Harbour Cay, and Crooked Island;
- The development of our nation’s blue carbon credits strategy; and
- A major investment in agriculture and national food security.
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