Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Protect the NIS, NHT and NHF

Published:Thursday | January 1, 2015 | 12:00 AM


The National Insurance (NIS) fund could go broke in six years; the National Housing Trust (NHT) is already broke. Next it will be the National Health Fund (NHF). Before it's too late, I am proposing that these entities be given independent oversight by a body that is capable, and make them account to the people of Jamaica.

Various governments over the years have proved that they are not accountable to the people of Jamaica. It has been made abundantly clear that the contributors to these funds have been hoodwinked time and time again, as the funds are not being managed for their benefit.

These institutions are shrouded in too much secrecy for organisations that are run on the contribution of the citizens of this

country. Over the years, the lack of transparency has been a fertile ground for corruption. Their reporting to the Parliament has been tardy and most times is as a result of poor management practices or no management at all. Enough is enough.

independent management

I propose that the funds be segregated and managed independently of any governmental intervention. The relevant legislations should be put in place to have the funds self-managed and the audited statements published in the same manner as a publicly listed company.

That brings me to the process of choosing who manages these funds. I believe it should not be a political appointee and there should be a transparent process. The boards of directors of these entities should comprise persons with the requisite skills and expertise to contribute to their proper management and not be a reward for faithful party supporters.

The reality is that these entities belong to the people and are not the property of any government. The people should have a say in how they are run and the necessary framework must be put in place to make this a reality. Let's not be tardy about this, because we owe it our children and their children to leave something in place that they can benefit from when our time has passed.