Friday, February 17, 2023

Let’s get real on redeeming the National Insurance Board (NIB) fund, Minister Myles LaRoda

Let’s get real with National Insurance, Minister Myles LaRoda 

By Dennis Dames

Myles LaRoda - Minister of State with responsibility for the National Insurance Board (NIB)
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for the National Insurance Board (NIB), Myles LaRoda, has been talking a lot lately about increasing contributions of employers and employees in order to stabilize the NIB fund.

That is an impractical proposition by itself in my view as the NIB fund is already in a very critical state, and employers and employees are presently paying a combined 9.8 percent!

How much higher does any sensible government thinks that that rate can realistically and practically increase without serious financial ramifications for the employer and employee?

The minister stated that the government is in no position to assist NIB financially.  What nonsense!

NIB’s problem has always been poor governance and a lack of prudent vision from its inception, in my humble opinion.

Too much political interference and sweetheart jobs over the decades have contributed significantly to the deplorable state of the NIB fund today.

Add the issue of inept management, over-staffing and political crony jobs, and we get an even grimmer picture of the depressing and ongoing disgraceful state of the rapid erosion of the NIB fund.

The government must find a way to become a partner in the rescue of the NIB fund, Minister LaRoda.  Let’s start with reducing the government’s travel budget, for example.

We live in the 21st Century and technological age where we can show some international leadership, and encourage and persuade our respective global counterparts to have more conferences online.  We can use the savings from the elimination of unnecessary state, political and sweetheart travelling to enhance the NIB investment fund.

Let’s stop acting brand new and talking fool like we just realize that more and more of us are living longer, and are thus putting a strain on the NIB fund by collecting our well deserved monthly pension checks.

Let’s get real on redeeming the NIB fund, Minister LaRoda.

Now is the time for the government of The Bahamas to show real political and executive leadership in the salvation of the NIB fund by letting the people know what the government’s financial contribution is going to be until the NIB fund is put in to a healthy position once and for all - for the future posterity.