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National Insurance Services in spanking new home

National Insurance Services in spanking new home

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The National Insurance Services (NIS) building is the new jewel in capital Kingstown, standing four stories tall and a sprawling 54,000 square feet in area.{{more}}

Some persons in attendance at the official opening held on Wednesday, October 22, 2008, described the building costing $18.7 million as magnificent, while others have simply dubbed it the premiere building in Kingstown.

After 21 years in operation, the NIS now has a permanent home of its own.

The opening of the building was a proud occasion for the Board of Directors and the staff of the NIS, but an equally proud moment for Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves and Moulton Mayers, the architect of the beautifully designed edifice.

Mayers described the finishing work on the building as impeccable. He expressed thanks to all organizations which played a distinctive role in the development of the project. He also thanked the building team for giving his firm the opportunity for showcasing its talent and expertise.

To a round of applause, Mayers said: “Those of us who have lived here forty years and more have experienced the emerging transformation of Kingstown from what I would call an urban sprawl to a city of great character and charm.”

Apologies for the delay in completing the building came from Reginald Thomas, Executive Director of the NIS, Lennox Bowman, Chairman of the NIS, as well as Mayers.The building was opened six years and a half after a ground breaking ceremony took place on January 5, 2002.

“We are all fully aware that not everything happens according to a desired time schedule and so we want to apologize publicly for the delayed delivery of this building. This was due to a number of hitches…the steel structure took approximately six months to be delivered on site. There was at one time dire cement shortage which everybody is aware of. Skilled workers were hard to find,” said Mayers as he explained the problems his firm encountered during the construction.

“We are positive that when you would have toured this architectural destination you would conclude the wait was worth the while,” said Mayers.

Delivering the feature address, Prime Minister Gonsalves gave a special recognition to Mayers, Gibson Construction, all persons who engaged in consultancy work as well as ordinary workers who worked on the project.

“Moulton Mayers is absolutely correct. He has designed us a building which exudes, reflects, embodies a Caribbean aesthetic, and more particularly a Vincentian spirit and joy of living,” said Dr. Gonsalves.

“It is when we see things like this unfolding that we know that we are coming of age and in many respects we have arrived as a modern sophisticated society of international quality where we are not better than anybody else but nobody is better than us,” said Prime Minister Gonsalves.

Dr.Gonsalves thanked former Prime Ministers, Robert Milton Cato and Sir James Mitchell, as well as Sir Vincent Beache, for the lead roles that they played over the years in developing the NIS.

The Prime Minister also disclosed that at the end of December 2007 the assets of the NIS totalled $369.1 million.

In attendance was Dr. Reginald Wells, Deputy Commissioner, Social Security, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

The NIS will occupy the entire ground floor of the building. The first floor is earmarked to house the National Health Insurance when it comes on stream, the second floor is tenanted to accommodate the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Tourism and the International Financial Services Authority and the third floor will house a conference centre designed to accommodate 90 persons.