By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
A PROMINENT pastor is renewing his call for the government to aid citizens who were “financially waylaid” when an insurance company collapsed.
Bishop Simeon Hall, Pastor Emeritus of New Covenant Baptist Church, released a statement yesterday lamenting the government’s failure to resolve issues with CLICO.
CLICO went into liquidation on February 24, 2009, after being declared insolvent. As a result, more than 100 people lost their jobs.
However, State Minister for Finance Michael Halkitis said last year that the government would honour a commitment made by the previous administration to establish a statutory insurance guarantee fund to protect the interests of CLICO policy holders.
No such guarantee has been established as yet.
In response, Bishop Hall said: “Regulators in the Ministry of Finance, under two separate administrations, fell asleep at the wheel while CLICO went belly-up and millions of dollars left the country.
“More than 30,000 Bahamians have been financially waylaid by CLICO – the collapsed insurance giant – and I call on the government not to forget the pain that someone in authority inflicted on scores of unsuspecting clients.
“It is painful to learn that the governments in at least two neighbouring Caribbean countries have come to the aid of their citizens affected by CLICO.
“I understand that our government is badly in need of financial resources; however in the face of the protracted global economic and financial crisis, bold leadership is imperative.”
Bishop Hall said in addition to resolving the CLICO issue, the Christie administration must “lower the crime rate, increase the rate of employment, regulate and tax web shops” and lower the VAT percentage if it wants to assure victory in the next election.