INAGUA – Exactly one month after opening a Passport Office in Exuma, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis officially opened another satellite office in Mathew Town as part of the Government’s commitment to bring essential services closer to the Family Islands.
The Prime Minister said it is burdensome for an Inaguan to have to spend money on airline tickets, accommodations, transportation and food in Nassau to apply for a passport.
“This expenditure may run an individual into over a thousand dollars, depending on the circumstance,” said Prime Minister Minnis.
The Prime Minister said he was pleased that the Passport Office is leading the way in using digital and electronic applications designed to make it easier for residents to access the suite of services it provides.
“This is a special day for the residents of Inagua, as you join fellow-citizens in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco and Exuma in having available, on your home island, quick access to enrolling and collecting your passports right here in Mathew Town,” said Prime Minister Minnis.
Since 1 March, when the online portal went live on a trial basis for Inagua, 15 applicants have been enrolled for passports, and 14 completed books will be returned today, said the Prime Minister.
The Government intends to open two more passport offices in the next few weeks, including one on Long Island, and another shortly thereafter on Eleuthera.
These islands – Exuma, Inagua, Long Island and Eleuthera – were strategically determined based on demographics, and is designed to ensure the widest coverage throughout the archipelago.
Since the opening of the satellite office in Exuma, 192 passport applicants have been enrolled.
The Passport Office will continue to dispatch mobile teams to areas where there are smaller populations, so that those residents are not disadvantaged.
The Prime Minister thanked the residents of Inagua for the discipline they have shown during the pandemic and urged them to continue to follow the health care measures.
The Prime Minister reminded residents to pay attention to updates on the administration of the COVID-19 Vaccine.
“The vaccine is not mandatory,” said Prime Minister Minnis. “But I urge everyone to take the vaccine as soon as you are eligible to do so.”