Transfer of State Insurance to NAMCO is beneficial, says Nicholas

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Information Minister Melford Nicholas is of the opinion that government’s transfer of State Insurance Company (SIC) to the staterun entity NAMCO will be beneficial to the country. SIC, a statutory body, has been placed under the control of the National Asset Management Company (NAMCO), an asset-holding and consolidated management corporation wholly owned and directed by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.

The transfer took effect on Thursday. Nicholas stated that, among other benefits, the matter of the company not being sold to any foreign entity was the most important.

“The only difference is the objective of the Baldwin Spencer administration was to divest the interest of State Insurance and was to be able to sell it to other private institutions in the Caribbean. They said they had actually cited an insurance company out of Trinidad. We on the other hand advocate strongly against the divestment of State Insurance.

“It has been generating profits, the operations of it have been successful for the life of its existence in the three iterations that it has now stood in.” SIC General Manager Lyndell Butler shared sentiments similar to Nicholas. Butler, who spoke on the OBSERVER AM show yesterday, added that with SIC’s funds remaining in the country the economy will be positively impacted.

“When we look at going into the region as part of our strategic plan, we recognized that we needed the name that represents a company so that we may have a buy-in from the regional market. State Insurance Corporation, the name, is a strong local brand and NAMCO is owned by the government; so of course, our profits will continue to stay in Antigua to help develop the economy.”

The company will now operate under the Transfer of Assets and Liabilities Act 2011, according to Butler. “The major change in our operation will be that we will operate under the Act, and so that is what differentiates us from the statutory body of how we operated before to how we are operating as of now.”

Aboard of Directors was also appointed by NAMCO and the Cabinet. The board members includes four government ministers in the persons of NAMCO Chairperson Sir Robin Yearwood, Samantha Marshall, Melford Nicholas, and E. Paul Chet Greene. The two non-ministerial members are very senior public servants in the persons of Accountant General Dr. Cleopatra Gittens, and Solicitor General Martin Camacho.

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