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Elcott Coleby's Bahamas week in review (March 21-25, 2016)
Submitted by Elcott Coleby   
Monday, 28 March 2016 07:00

Mid-Year budget debate concludes

The 2015/2016 mid-year budget debate concluded late Wednesday night after much controversy unrelated to the fiscal affairs of the country.

In his wrap up Prime Minister Christie again defended his reputation in telling House colleagues that Diane Philips and Joseph Darville of Save the Bays were wrong for being a part of a campaign that held the office of the Prime Minister up to ridicule on allegations not based in facts. He also reasoned that the Supreme Court injunction against Mr. Nygard’s application should have been lifted to make way for a public hearing on the particulars of Clifton Bay where the contents of an environmental assessment and an environmental management plan he commissioned could be fully scrutinized and conclusions drawn based purely on facts.

On the critical issue of jobs, the Prime Minister announced that the $20 million allocated in the current budget for jobs training and placement will now be used under an apprenticeship template currently in practice at the Grand Bahama Shipyard. Prime Minister Christie said he expects this template to be utilized at Baker’s Bay in Abaco, on projects in Exuma, Eleuthera and throughout the family islands as the jobs created must be tied to training and must empower young Bahamians.

“We want a training program that is an empowering program where people will go to work – they will be making a stipend or minimum wage as the case might be – and they will be empowered to fill vacancies as they come on stream. It will be based on the needs assessment as it exists out there so I expect the Minister of Labour to be very busy to be identifying those areas where these people will go to work. I want to begin to employ people on the basis wherever they are that they will be trained.

Notice for shops opening on Easter Monday
Submitted by BIS   
Saturday, 26 March 2016 09:51

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Cabinet Office wishes to advise the general public that Monday, March 28, 2016 will be observed as Easter Monday.

As a result, stores wishing to do so, may open for business on this holiday during normal business hours.

Employers are to note, however, that employees who are normally not required to work on holidays, must be paid wages in accordance with section 10 (a) of the Employment Act.

Arinthia S. Komolafe resigns as Managing Director of Bahamas Development Bank
Thursday, 24 March 2016 06:52

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Managing Director of the Bahamas Development Bank, Mrs. Arinthia S. Komolafe has tendered her letter of resignation to the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance - the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie.

The Bank chief shared some of her thoughts on her time at the institution. "It has been quite a journey with much challenges but I am proud of the work that we have done as a team in spite of the many challenges that we have faced. I leave the Bank knowing that I have done my very best with the minimal resources available and despite the enormous limitations that confronted us daily."

The requisite notice had been provided to the Minister of Finance to allow for the appointment of a suitable replacement and ensure a smooth transition period.

"I am hopeful that the good work that we began by seeking to create a culture of professionalism, implementing appropriate internal controls, putting in place a robust provisioning policy, devising a strategic plan, proposing an effective corporate governance framework, spearheading a focused initiative to clean up the loan portfolio, pursuing legal action against chronic defaulters and enacting a "no sacred cow" policy for the recovery of funds owed to the Bank will be built upon by my successor" Komolafe continued.

"I wish to publicly thank the Prime Minister for reposing confidence in me and providing me with an opportunity to provide public service to my country over the past few years" she concluded.

Mrs. Komolafe leaves the helm of the Bank to pursue other endeavors and remains committed to serving the Bahamian people. The effective date of her resignation is 31st March, 2016.

Sam Duncombe writes: The Fight for Our Future
Wednesday, 23 March 2016 11:39

Politics, law and the environment.

The government of The Bahamas is increasingly dysfunctional and perverse. They continue to wilfully ignore, downplay and reframe the very serious matters and concerns that have been raised by Save The Bays (STB) and others: oil pollution at Clifton, the Rubis fuel spill, the burning dump, and unregulated and unlawful development, for starters. And even after a Supreme Court judgement, Prime Minister Perry Christie and the Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Alfred Gray have failed to close the illegal facility Blackbeard’s Cay notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s order requiring them to do so.

Invasion of privacy – more illegality

Most recently, we witness the Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald reading private emails of STB directors - illegally obtained - under the protection of the House of Assembly. How does this look to the world of investors and bankers? – knowing that when the government wants to, it will spy on them?

What an obscene violation of privacy!

March 23 is World Meteorological Day
Submitted by BIS   
Wednesday, 23 March 2016 11:10

Theme: ‘Hotter, Drier, Wetter. Face the Future'

World Meteorological Day commemorates the coming into force on 23 March 1950 of the Convention establishing the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It showcases the essential contribution of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to the safety and wellbeing of society.

The 2016 theme: ‘Hotter, Drier, Wetter. Face the Future’ highlights the challenges of climate change and the path towards climate-resilient societies.

The increase in hot days, warm nights and heatwaves will affect public health. These risks can be reduced by heat-health early warning systems that provide timely alerts to decision-makers, health services and the general public.

Droughts must be addressed more proactively through integrated drought management, which embraces guidance on effective policies and land management strategies and shares best practices for coping with drought.

In the event of heavy precipitation and floods, impact-based forecasts enable emergency managers to be prepared in advance. Integrated flood management is a long-term holistic approach to minimizing the risks of flooding.

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