Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, July 17, 2021: As Government continues to address a number of pertinent issues affecting citizens, the National Insurance Scheme’s (NIS) countrywide outreach launched by Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh today at the Giftland Mall, resulted in scores of citizens coming out to visit the site and have their issues addressed. The outreach saw the Minister, NIS Board Chairman Ramesh Persaud and General Manager, Holly Greaves along with Board Directors and other NIS staff meeting with citizens and listening to the issues they would have had with regard to claims and other matters.
“We started at 10, we’ve already seen 85 persons out of which 60 thereabout, we’ve already resolved their matter to their satisfaction ….there are probably about 25 or thereabout that will require further investigation, further inquiry, further checking of records, further work but I’m very pleased that we got the response that we got ….lots of people came,” the Senior Finance Minister reported to the media at about 13:30 hrs with the day’s session planned to continue until 16:00 hrs.
The Minister lauded the efforts of the new Board and its management for working assiduously to resolve the large number of issues and pending claims since the Board’s appointment in November, 2020.
“I’m very happy to say that the board and management have done a lot of work …have achieved quite a lot and to give you some examples …when the new Board was appointed in November last year, we had a stock of about 14,000 pending claims. They are now down to about 3,000 or thereabout so they’ve managed to clear out a number of pending claims,” Minister Singh said. Additionally, the Minister noted that NIS has also been able to successfully resolve the challenges with regard to their Life Certificates.
“When we came into Government there was an ongoing challenge with Life Certificates that had been submitted and that were not processed in a timely manner… on average in each pension cycle you’d have probably about 3000 that were not being processed in a timely manner which would result in a pensioner being paid their pension late or would result in a pensioner dropping off the pensioner’s roll. We’ve now reduced that to zero,“ he posited .
Minister Singh further noted that NIS has been able to use technology to aid in resolving some of their challenges such as allowing pensioners to send their Life Certificates via Whatsapp.
The Senior Finance Minister emphasized further that the Outreach would be continuing countrywide as the Irfaan Ali-led Government was adamant that NIS needs to resolve all of the issues in the shortest possible time.
“The President has mandated me as the Minister responsible for the NIS -we have undertaken at the Cabinet level -a nationwide series of outreaches so that we are able to take the services of NIS to the Citizens….some citizens are not even able to get to a regional office. We want them to be able to come to a convenient location to register their complaint or their problem that they have and to be able to process those. These complaints are very diverse in nature. Some people are having challenges with their incomplete contribution records, “Minister Singh concluded.
The matters being dealt with at the Outreaches include Compliance certificates, Contribution statements, Registration & replacement of NIS cards, Signing and submission of Life Certificates, Submission of Claims and Benefit and Pension queries.
The Senior Finance Minister along with the NIS team are slated to continue the Outreach tomorrow at the car park in Parika, Region Three while additional Outreach locations and dates are to be announced later.