Saturday, April 28, 2012

The State of the Nation

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THE


STATE OF THE


NATION


By Alva C. Lloyd


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College English 1


Mr. W. L. Bowleg


The State of the Nation


I. Government Ministries.


(a) National Insurance & Housing.


(b) Health.


(c) Bahamas Telecommunications Company.


(d) Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas.


II. Crime


(a) Possible causes.


(b) Judicial system.


III. The Economy


(a) Its profitability and stability.


(b) The Nation’s budget.


(c) E-Commerce.


(d) Financial Services and Investments.


Have we arrived? Have we banked the corner? The state of this nation seems to be experiencing a sea-saw effect when it comes to growth and profitability. Progression, digression what are we really experiencing? Are we being told the undiluted truth when it comes to the state of our nation? In laymen terms the people of the Bahamas need to be told what is really going on.


The state of the nation of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas has been under much scrutiny. Some say we are in a terrible state. Others say that we are making great strides in economic development.


This essay will pinpoint some major issues that are affecting our economy. It will seek to bring to light somewhat a personal view on the state of this nation with facts from different sources.


Government Ministries


Some government ministries are poorly managed and over staffed. The National Insurance Board is one such place. On top of being overstaffed, there are persons being overlooked for promotion because of lack of sufficient academic abilities. The Ministry of Housing, fulfilling its mandate on ensuring that affordable homes are made available to Bahamians, has embarked on a project to making it affordable for locals to own their own homes. Yet when certain low-income and single family applicants apply they are told they are not qualified? So how then can these homes be affordable?


The Ministry of Health has embarked on a number of initiatives to alleviate the shortage of nurses here in the Bahamas. Also, there is a shortage of properly qualified pharmacists within the government health sector. One of the reasons for this is there are persons ready and willing to sit the exam to be qualified but now have to wait until June 004, the date for which this exam will be set.


The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), a profitable company, now up for privatization. There is poor management in this company. Workers who have been hired as political favors entering the job and filling in positions that current qualified staff with the experience can fill.


Outdated systems have now caused a halt in cellular services. How can you not implement and plan for upgrades on a periodic basis in a department that has been the pacesetter for financial growth in the company. Now millions of dollars are spent to rectify this problem.


The Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas has been a burden on this country for sometime. The corporation has not been able to compete and make profit as the other media companies. Staff are poorly paid and morale at an all time low.


Crime


Crime in this country has grown at an all time high. There seem to be a lawless state amongst the youths and adults. A statement was made that our country’s crime problem seems to be escalating to that of first world countries. What is the government plans to eradicate this menacing situation?


We have heard talk on National Reform, but is this the solution. It is not until our citizens can realize the difference between protecting our criminal family members and obstructing justice; that we can begin to curtail this problem.


Harsher penalties need to be put in place for certain crimes and favoritism or leniency not given because of social status. If you do the crime you do the time.


Our police officers need to be given stricter mandates in the apprehension of criminals and tools for effective investigating. They ought to be made aware that every citizen of this country has a right to police protection when they feel that their freedom of existence in this country is being threatened.


The Economy


The economy of the Bahamas has changed since its independence in 17. Thirty years ago, the Bahamas’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was somewhere around $. billion approximately two-thirds of what it is today. Although the economy is still weak, it is showing some signs of recovery according to a recently released Central Bank quarterly report.


In the 00/004 Budget it noted that specific programs could contribute to the sustained growth of the economy. Such programs mentioned are the expansion and marketing of bone fishing lodges; upgrading of tourist sites; improved docks and airport facilities.


Early this year the Government released its Electronic Commerce Policy statement. This policy statement as reported could be regarded as an important step in economic development for this country.


The financial sector of this country is been given much attention, as it could be a turning point in economic profit and stability. Foreign and local investments have been highly welcomed as it brings exposure and economic growth for our nation.


Foreign investments can bring much help with respect to helping to reduce the national deficit and at the same time provide job opportunities for our people. These investments should not be limited to the construction sector but also tourism.


With the onset of the World Trade Organization (WTO), The Free Trade Area of the Americas and the Caricom Single Market Economy (CSME), the government has to now adjust its policies and ensure that the local business community inputs are heard and considered; so as to protect and guard their interest in this changing global market. In turn the business community needs to seek more ways to be more proactive and productive to be able to compete internationally.


In conclusion, this nation has much work ahead of us. I bring to light my second question at the beginning of this essay, have we banked the corner? It is quite too early to predict this, as there is a lot more to be done before we can say that we are ready to compete globally. We have maintained a steady growth but not to a degree where we can say the state of this nation have improved significantly over the years. Collective decision making; from the private and public sector; will now have to be made to ensure the long-term growth of our nation.





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