Chamber lauds NIB’s launch of ESS portal

The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) yesterday lauded the introduction of the National Insurance Board’s (NIB) Employer’s Self-Service (ESS) portal, noting that the technological advancement will help to improve the ease of doing business.

BCCEC Chairperson Khrystle Rutherford-Ferguson said the chamber is interested in any system that will make the conducting of business easier and more efficient.

“Ease of doing business is really about putting systems in place to make it easier to conduct business in a more efficient way. What you will see this portal do, as we gather, is eliminate standing in long lines,” she said at the BCCEC’s Power Breakfast event yesterday.

“With a system like this, it definitely benefits our members because they can upload their contributions online, making sure that they can pay more attention to their business in the office.”

Katherine Zervos, chief administrative officer at the Cape Eleuthera Island School, registered her company for the system at yesterday’s event and said the initiative will dramatically improve the ease of doing business on the Family Islands.

“Given that we are such a remote location, to file an NIB claim or to file an NIB contribution is a 50-mile trip, round trip. Because our school teaches sustainability and living well in a place, we’re very conscious of our carbon footprint,” she said.

“This goes a long way towards our human resources department saying we’ve made a serious impact on being able to reduce our carbon footprint.”

General Manager of the Bridge Authority Tony Smith added that his organization is technology-focused and is constantly looking at how it can do things differently and improve how it conducts its business.

“I think if we figure out how to leverage technology we’ll get rid of a lot of inefficiencies in the system and get rid of a lot of chaos in the system that comes from the manual ways of doing things. I think this is a tremendous step in that direction,” he said.

“I think more and more businesses should be more forward-looking and thinking and anticipate how to serve customers better, because the reality is we don’t live the way our parents lived, we’re not interested in the long lines, we’re not interested in waiting around for people to do things for us, especially things we can do for ourselves. So we should be more focused on helping people to serve themselves and do it well.”

NIB launched the ESS portal pilot last month and intends to have it fully rolled out by mid-2020.

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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