Thursday, August 9, 2018
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
SCORES of Bahamians have taken advantage of Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis' summer break offer to open his doors to questions direct from the public.
But the schedule is already "pretty tight" for the next several weeks, said Press Secretary Anthony Newbold.
Yesterday was the first day members of the public could request to sit and talk with the nation's leader. Ten people were scheduled to meet him for ten minutes each between 9am and noon. Dr Minnis will continue these meetings each Wednesday with the same schedule until September 12.
According to Mr Newbold, the idea is to meet with people who want to talk while the House of Assembly is on its summer recess.
However, there were some who complained to The Tribune yesterday they were not successful in making appointments. In one case, a woman claimed no-one answered the line where appointments can be made. Another caller said she was put on hold and was never able to actually make the appointment.
"People want an opportunity to speak with the prime minister and feel comfortable that he's aware of their concerns and is prepared to do something about it," Mr Newbold said yesterday.
"The prime minister is asking people to be mindful that a lot of people want to see the prime minister and ordinarily you wouldn't get a chance to do that only because of the nature of his schedule there isn't time for him to see individuals like that, which is why he thought this is a wonderful idea while the House is on break, we'll take a couple hours every Wednesday, which is when he would normally be in the House of Assembly.
"He's not there now and so let's take this time and see some of the ordinary people."
Mr Newbold also addressed concerns that Family Islanders were not given the same opportunity as those in New Providence to meet the prime minister.
"I know that some people have asked about the Family Islands. Prime Minister is in the Family Islands every other week and so it's not as if they are left out or they weren't thought of.
"He's in Eleuthera, he's in Exuma. A couple weeks ago he was in Acklins and Crooked Island so he takes those opportunities to engage people when he's out there, but as many people as possible have an opportunity to say something to the prime minister," Mr Newbold said.
Anyone interested in an appointment should call 702-5500.