Minister Halkitis at ceremony where 62 Customs officers promoted!

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Minister Halkitis highlights the national security role, as well as source of revenue, of the Bahamas Customs Department

PROMOTIONS – Minister of Economic Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, on Monday, November 28 participated in the promotions exercise of 62 Customs officers at the C.A. Smith Building. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas – The Minister of Economic Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, on Monday, November 28 participated in the promotion of 62 Customs officers in a brief ceremony at the C.A. Smith Building.

According to the Minister, he was there to participate in presenting the letters “on behalf of the government and on behalf of the Ministry of Finance and the Prime Minister, to say thank you for your service that you provide.

“When we think about Customs, most of the time we think about revenue and the importance of revenue. Mr. (Ralph) Munroe spoke to the increase in revenue, and we are grateful for your hard work and dedication you have displayed to enable us to achieve that, but Customs has a very important function when it comes to protecting our boarders from smuggling and illegal activity; guns, drugs etc.   That role is equally important because as you know, we have our issues with criminal activity.

“You serve a dual role, so as we are collecting revenue, we are also mindful of the security aspect of the job that you do.”

The Minister also participated in a similar exercise in Nassau last Thursday “as an expression of thanks and gratitude to those who were receiving the promotions.”

With a previous engagement in Grand Bahama on Monday, the Minister committed to participating in the exercise.

Accompanying the Minister were Ralph Munroe, Acting Deputy Controller; Whitney Kenny, Assistant Controller; and Kenneth Flowers, Acting Deputy Controller in charge of Grand Bahama and Walker’s Cay.

Minister Halkitis acknowledged the years the officers have served the country and added that in many cases, they are stationed in areas of hardship but continue to show up and perform their duties. This, he said, is commendable.

“The fact that you are moving to another level demonstrates you have demonstrated competency, discipline in the work you have done that has enabled you to advance; and the fact that you are advancing means now that even more is expected of you.”

As they are expected to set a good example for the junior officers, he said, “we’re confident that all of you who are being elevated are more than ready to meet that challenge.”