Companies in Guyana’s emerging oil and gas sector have contributed over GY$500 million to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) – a social security organization – for the first half of 2019.
This is according to General Manager Holly Greaves, who made the disclosure while addressing an event to celebrate the scheme’s 50th anniversary on Wednesday.
She noted that the scheme has increased its engagements with companies in this emerging sector, due its potential to increase the revenue stream of the agency.
“As at August 2019, the scheme has received a total of $575,034, 988 dollars for 3,610 employees in this sector,” she said.
At the agency’s 49th Anniversary ceremony, it was revealed that 155 employees in the Petroleum sector were registered, contributing $24,732,593 for the same period last year.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, urged the scheme to contemplate a long-term investment policy to ensure its viability.
With the coming of the oil and gas sector, he advised the scheme to think of lucrative investment options.
“We must be careful what we invest in… we have to be careful. Yes, the investment to date in treasury bills is virtually returning nothing but at the same time it is safe,” he explained.
He added: “You must adapt prudently to these changes in order to stay relevant. You have to begin to make investments that yield higher returns than you are currently receiving, but this has to be done in the context of a well-managed risk management framework.”
He noted that currently there is a huge demand in the country for housing and office businesses as a result of the emerging oil and gas sector.
Meanwhile, from January to August 2019, NIS collected 15.8 billion dollars or 59% of the 26.6 billion targeted for 2019.
A further 9 billion is projected to be collected between September and December 2019. As a result, the projected revenue is targeted at 24.8 billion.