For the first time on island since his appointment on Monday, May 15, Minister of State for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Kwasi Thompson arrived on island Tuesday evening "ready to get to work." Met by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for Grand Bahama Melvin Seymour, Senior Under Secretary Harcourt Brown, Assist to the Permanent Secretary Conrad Jones and Protocol Officer Dashy Williams, Minister Thompson spoke briefly with the media before going directly to the Ministry. Minister Thompson said, "Firstly, I want to say how grateful I am to God for what really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I've lived in Grand Bahama all my life, and Grand Bahama really has been a very special place for me. To be appointed the Minister of State responsible for Grand Bahama really is an awesome, awesome privilege, I see it really as service to the country. "Grand Bahama really is in desperate need, and so we have a lot of work to do. There's not a lot of time to celebrate. There's not a lot of time to get into the pomp and pageantry of it, but it is time to get to work."

The Minister explained that he was appointed Monday evening, he had a conference call with the Permanent Secretary, Melvin Seymour, and work began immediately. "During the first Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, he continued, there were a number of meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, as well as other colleagues, concerning issues related to Grand Bahama.
Having just gotten back on island Tuesday evening, Minister Thompson explained he was going straight to work and would be in again on Wednesday morning, his first official day at the office. "We are hitting the ground running. There are a lot of things that need to be done and so I just feel excited and ready to work." Mr. Thompson further explained that the newly appointed Cabinet is ready for the task at hand and Prime Minister Minnis has indicated that Grand Bahama will be "a priority for his government. He's given us directions in terms of what we ought to work on, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister, being from Grand Bahama. So we are really excited about what we can accomplish in Grand Bahama, and you'll begin to see the evidence of that very shortly."


On the job

Some 16 Enumerators in Grand Bahama have been commissioned to carry out the work of the Labor Department May 1 through May 16 in all of the major communities within Grand Bahama. Enumerators will not be conducting their labour survey on May 10 and May 11 because of the general elections. Tonya Butler, supervisor of the Labour Force Survey, would like to inform members of the public that the Enumerators are easily identifiable with their orange vests and their official Statistics Department badges; if badges are checked they should not be confused with political party representatives during this general election season.“That is very important,” she added. “We want individuals to check the badges of the people who come to their homes from the Department because those badges are distributed by the Bahamas Government and signed by the Director of the Labour Department.”

She said that Labor Force Survey must be completed the same time each year, for accuracy of information, and so the dates cannot be changed: “We go out every May and every November to conduct these Labor Force Surveys. We cannot change the dates when we conduct the surveys. Election came up in the middle of the time when we normally conduct the survey, but we cannot change the date.” The Labor Force Survey Supervisor said that the information from the Survey is very critical to the government, to the direction of the country and it also plays a critical role to investors looking to invest in The Bahamas. “We used to conduct the Labor Force Survey once a year, but now we do it twice a year because this statistic is very important.”
She added that it is against the law not to conform to Enumerators conducting the Labor Force Survey. With a little under two weeks to conduct the Labor Force Survey, and with an expected two-day hold up, Ms. Butler said that Enumerators will be working in the following areas: Eight Mile Rock, West End, Pineridge, Lucaya, Marco City and High Rock. She added if anyone has any concerns, please contact the office at 352-7196 and ask for Tonya Butler, or Assistant Director Clara Lowe.





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