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JIS News

Ground was broken for the construction of a new National Insurance Scheme (NIS) office for the parish of St. Mary at a function in Port Maria on Wednesday, August 31.
The new office will be built at Stennett Street on lands adjacent to the Port Maria Primary and Infant schools. The contract signing for the construction took place at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in Kingston two weeks ago, and the contractors for the project are Guarantee Construction Company.
Construction of a new facility in St. Mary has become necessary because of the need for more space at the old office to better enable the accommodation of staff and the improvement of the efficiency with which it serves the public.
The total cost of the construction will be $33 million and work is scheduled to begin in two weeks.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Horace Dalley said the new St. Mary office was the first of four parish offices that would be constructed in order to improve the services of the NIS.
He said St. Mary was given priority because there was a greater need in that parish for a new office and added that plans were afoot to construct new offices in the parishes of Clarendon, St. Elizabeth and Portland in the near future, as well as to improve and expand the office serving the parish of St. Ann.
Noting that the office was being built with money earned from the investments carried out with the NIS funds collected by his Ministry, Mr. Dalley said those investments had proven to be very sound and profitable over the years, enabling the government to provide benefits to pensioners beyond the level of the amount of contributions collected.
Stating that the NIS Fund now stood at $39 billion because of the profitable returns from those investments, the Labour and Social Security Minister asserted that government was willing to cooperate with the private sector to fund feasible projects, which would create employment in order to increase the amount of NIS contributions in the country.
Declaring that his Ministry was eager to work with enterprising Jamaicans to catalyse investments throughout the country, Mr. Dalley said planning was also being made to forge partnerships with developers to build middle and low income housing to facilitate the rapid development which was occurring in some areas of the country.