From time to time we have received complaints about the service at the National Insurance Board Department in Grand Bahama.
Personnel in NIB have been accused of inefficiency, misrepresenting the requirements and entitlements and actually passing on inaccurate information, thus causing lengthy delays or in some instances, the entitled to not receive benefits at all.
On Tuesday, the Freeport News experienced firsthand, the deplorable service meted out to the public by NIB in GB. We know that Felix Stubbs is the National NIB Chief and the all-important agency comes under the portfolio of Minister of Labor Shane Gibson.
In Grand Bahama, it is understood that one Rosita Booth is in charge. We sought to speak with the Ms. Booth on a number of occasions on Tuesday. We were taken on a journey of frustration and virtual disrespect never thought possible.
Firstly, we were contacted by NIB on an industrial matter and were in fact communicating with a representative of NIB, taking the opportunity to explain the position of the company. Abruptly without determining that we had completed expressing our position, the connection was unceremoniously severed.
Thinking, it was surely only a technical problem, we immediately called back, asking to speak with the Ms. Booth or whomever it was dealing with The Freeport News on the industrial matter. We also ventured to give the name of the former employee, on whose behalf, the NIB representative was communicating with The Freeport News.
There followed a succession of calls to the 352-7222 and 352-7224 numbers. We went through the NIB answering service procedure, hitting the appropriate numbers to be put in touch with NIB in GB.
On every occasion a lady answered and we explained our interest in speaking with the Ms. Booth or someone in the industrial section. We were told to just hold the line on a number of occasions, then, transferred to some other area from which we got absolutely no response. In each case, after an extended wait, we hung up and called back only to go through the very same situation each time.
Eventually we gave up.
Understandably, the Ms. Booth could have been away from her desk or out for the day.
What about those who are supposed to be functioning in the industrial section?
Do they know how to respond to an extension that is ringing?
Is it a habit whereby they just let the telephone extensions ring until frustration causes those interested in service to hang up?
Do they work at all?
It is simply deplorable that an essential government agency is so dysfunctional. Incredibly, it appears those who represent Stubbs, Minister Gibson and the Government of The Bahamas in the NIB Department in Grand Bahama, have little or no interest in providing good service or even adequate service.
Also, they seem unconcerned about being presented in a negative light. It was made quite clear that it was The Freeport News that was seeking service. If the one daily newspaper in Grand Bahama can be disrespected and treated so shabbily, goodness knows what the ordinary Grand Bahama resident goes through when seeking “entitled” service from NIB in Grand Bahama.
The situation we experienced amounts to a national disgrace.
This is what goes on under this government’s watch.
Published Thursday, March, 16, 2017