(MMS-SKN) – Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance, the Hon Dr Terrance Drew, has termed it a momentous occasion that the National Caribbean Insurance Company Limited, which was started in 1973 with a start-up capital of EC$250,000.00 now has over $300 million in total assets.
“Fifty years is indeed momentous – as I stood there I started to do some calculations,” said the Honourable Prime Minister. “You started with $250,000.00 and it is now $300 million-plus – over a quarter billion dollars – so it means you would have grown over 1000 times, which is extremely significant by any measure. This company is a solid company and when you visit, it is not an exaggeration – the numbers speak for themselves.”
Prime Minister Drew, who also has responsibility for the National Bank Group of Companies which include the National Insurance Co. Ltd., made the remarks on Sunday October 1, at the 50th Anniversary Church Service held at the Antioch Baptist Church, Lime Kiln, West Basseterre.
The company, according to Prime Minister Drew, was started during the country’s Statehood, in 1973, when the majority of the working class were mostly workers in the agricultural sector, specifically sugarcane fields.
He pointed out that under the leadership of the country’s First National Hero (The Rt. Excellent Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw) he decided that St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla should chart a course defining the people to some of the established companies that would help in the country’s national development.
The church service was held under the theme ‘Living in the Power of Transformation’, and present include Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Marcella Liburd, GCMG, JP, Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Dr Geoffrey Hanley, Board of Directors of the National Caribbean Insurance led by Chairman, Ambassador His Excellency Cedric Liburd, and Managing Director of the National Bank Group of Companies, Mr Terrence Crossman.
National Caribbean Insurance, which is celebrating the anniversary under the theme ‘At 50 We Stand Tall – NCI Cares For All’, is part of the National Bank Group of Companies, which according to the Honourable Prime Minister, with $3 billion in total assets, is possibly the largest business in the OECS, yet St. Kitts and Nevis is the smallest country in the OECS.
The growth and success, pointed Dr Drew, “also speaks to the whole idea of our 40th Anniversary of Independence, because it was out of that vision – that thought, that audaciousness, and tenacity, and foresight, that the idea was started that we too, although underdeveloped, colonised, and sugar workers living most of us in abject poverty that we can establish a nation that today can be respected among nations. Just think about it.”
The NCI, he said, has transformed the socioeconomic condition of the people as its growth has meant that some persons who would have been dead before the insurance company, many of them are alive, businesses that would not have existed or would have failed, they are thriving because of the company; while shacks were turned into nice houses that established Bird Rock and different areas.
“As the Minister with responsibility for National Bank Group of Companies, I want to ask you to do us something,” requested Dr Drew; “Be bold again and help to establish health insurance for all here in St. Kitts and Nevis and help us to establish and accomplish our Sustainable Development Goal Number Three, of becoming an insured nation where all of our people are guaranteed good health.”