NIB mass gatherings as thousands are set to collect a cheque!

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NIB must embrace the use of its digital wallets to remove the lines to its clients…

Hundreds line up for unemployment cheques from NIB.

NASSAU| Bahamas Press is now worried about the potential community spread of deadly coronavirus [COVID-19] by the National Insurance Board.

With all the talk by government to limit gatherings, lockdowns curfews, social distancing and wearing masks, NIB announced this week how they were welcoming hundreds of applicants who applied for their benefits due to unemployment. The names of the applicants to collect their cheques were published in the dailies and, according to NIB, some 900 persons were processed on Tuesday alone.

So far, according to NIB, some $40 million dollars have been paid out to assist the unemployed, which equates to over 30,000 persons seeking assistance due to the loss of their employment because of COVID-19.

Bahamas Press applauds the Minnis Government in this exercise to assist struggling residents who need its help more today than ever in the history of the country. And we congratulate NIB for its diligence and commitment in service to the Bahamians.

We, however, want to advise the Board to consider posting funds into the bank accounts of these same clients who now need the assistance of the Government. Applicants have bank accounts. They were working! Their employer paid NIB so why is there a need to have someone come for a cheque, which will then create a further bottle neck at NIB and the banks, further compounding the threat of community spread due to the gathering of persons?

Additionally, cheques will cost more for those who may possibly have no bank account and need every dime given to them by the national social security agency. Therefore, since NIB’s smart card is already affixed with a third-party payment capability, NIB should just exercise the use of digital wallets, diminishing, if not terminating, long lines at NIB, social services, food stores, and other service places.

We know you can do it, NIB, as you have displayed this sense of delivering service and dignity to the People!

And while we are at it, we want the powers that be to note that NIB’s ESS system is down, making it impossible for us to post NIB contributions to our staff at this time. PLEASE HELP because if businesses cannot pay NIB, clients will not be able to collect benefits.

We report yinner decide!