Categorized | National News

NIB Headed For Broke, Warns Lightbourn

Montagu Member of Parliament Richard Lightbourn yesterday warned that the government’s spending will lead to the National Insurance Board (NIB) going broke as he accused the administration of spending as if it were “monopoly money.”

Mr. Lightbourn cited the recent announcement that NIB will build the government a new building expected to house the Ministry of National Security.

“That is what is happening to the funds of National Insurance and that is why you are going to find that when you get down that road in a few years that there’s no money at National Insurance to pay for any of these things,” Mr. Lightbourn said in the House of Assembly Wednesday. “The actuaries have said National Insurance will be broke within 20 years.”

However, Labour and National Insurance Minister Shane Gibson said no money is being taken away from National Insurance and he described these arrangements as sound business practices for NIB.

“When National Insurance constructs buildings on behalf of the government of The Bahamas there is no exposure to National Insurance. The exposure is to the government. So to give people the impression, for example, that if National Insurance owns a building that they are occupying and they renovate it, that money comes out of the administrative expense.

“When they build a building on behalf of the government, that money is paid for by the government and the people of The Bahamas. There’s no exposure in terms of any risks of any money for National Insurance – none. As a matter of fact, the actuary would tell you, that is the best investment that National Insurance has.”

The Christie Administration has awarded a contract to Holiday Industrial Builders to construct the new building on John F. Kennedy Drive.

Holiday Industrial Builders was previously awarded a $5.8 million to construct the Attorney General’s office on John F. Kenndy Drive in 2004.

However, the Ingraham administration terminated the contract in 2008.

Lawyers for the company have since said that the contract was terminated purely for political reasons.

At a press conference Tuesday, Mr. Gibson said that he would not table the $20 million contract that has been awarded to Holiday Industrial Builders.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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