Published On: Fri, Jun 30th, 2023

Going into Recess, Gumbs Sends Questions to Irion Over ENNIA Situation

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PHILIPSBURG – PFP member of Parliament Melissa Gumbs sent questions to the Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion requesting, among other information, an update on the ongoing saga between ENNIA and the Central Bank of St. Maarten and Curacao.

On 1 June 2023, The Daily Herald ran an article wherein Minister Irion highlighted some key statistics and information regarding the role of St. Maarten when it came to the ENNIA situation. He mentioned among them the fact that there are approximately 3000 ENNIA policyholders in St. Maarten who may face issues in their pension plans by 2025. These policyholders represent a possible capital contribution of ANG 100 to 150 million from St. Maarten.

In her letter, Gumbs asked Irion about the composition of the supervisory board of the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten. The CBCS took over stewardship of ENNIA since the court ruled that withdrawals were illegally made from the insurance company by Hushang Ansary, his daughter Nina and others involved at the company. She requested that Irion provide the number of slots allocated to St. Maarten and whether they were filled, as well as by who. Further to this, Gumbs asked Irion to provide Parliament with a full update regarding the solution found by Government.

“In the June 1st TDH piece,” Gumbs stated, “the Minister is quoted as saying that Government has until June 30th, 2023 to devise a viable solution for the ENNIA crisis. By the time the Minister receives my letter, there should be a charted way forward available for him to share with Parliament, and by extension, with the 3000 ENNIA policyholders who call St. Maarten home.”

“It’s my hope that the Ministry of Finance has been consulting with, alongside the Central Bank, other finance and banking experts who can provide guidance in this scenario,” Gumbs said. “I know that ENNIA’s restructuring is something the Minister himself pressed upon when he was in Parliament, so I’m hoping to receive his response before the end of recess. Aside from that, I view the ENNIA saga as a cautionary tale about the types of investors we “champion” for this country; the mentality that St. Maarten is a “playground” for foreign or even local investors is not unique to anyone involved in the ENNIA debacle. Some of my colleagues who behave as though an investor having no respect for the people or environment of St. Maarten is some bizarre and random occurrence should remember that.”

Related news: ENNIA needs millions to prevent cuts in pension payments