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Gov’t in talks with banks to restore special lines for sister island residents

Gov’t in talks with banks to restore special lines for sister island residents

Premier Andrew Fahie has said his government is in talks with banks across the territory to have them reimplement queues specifically designed for residents on the sister islands.

The Premier made the statement during the recent handing over ceremony of the North Sound Administration Building rededicated in honour of John E. George.

He was speaking on the many difficulties and delays experienced by residents of the sister islands when travelling to the mainland of Tortola to conduct business.

“You go to the government facility to find out that the person who is dealing with it is either out sick or on lunch, or in a meeting and you have to pass back. These are real things that happen that people don’t like to say, and then find out that you have to come back in about an hour or two,” he said.

“Then you have to go to the bank and when you reach to the bank, there were special lines in the bank which we are speaking with them now to put them back in for the people on the sister islands … They take out the lines and put you in a regular line and by the time you get out, it’s probably one hour before you catch the ferry. You run go back over to the government facility to get tended to and sometimes you hear, ‘come back tomorrow’,” the Premier explained.

Public officers and businesses asked to be more lenient

The leader of government business also urged public servants and members of the private sector on Tortola to be more considerate towards persons from sister islands when conducting business.

“When you living on Tortola, come back tomorrow is easy because you just get in your car or catch a ride and you go to wherever you’re going and then you come back tomorrow. And I’m asking all the officers to be more sensitive, and the banks to more sensitive and all the other organisation in Tortola to be more sensitive to the sister islands brothers and sisters,” Fahie said.

He further hinted at the possibility of instituting an initiative where public officers from Tortola work on the other sister islands to experience the hardship faced by these individuals.

“I told persons that, one of the times, [what] we have to do in the public service is take up some of them and have them work on the sister islands for a month, and let them catch a boat and go over, and catch a boat and come back in the afternoons,” he added.

Premier Fahie said believes such an experiment will help to allow persons on the mainland to understand the valuable nature of time for residents on the sister islands.


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