National News Briefs
The Nicaraguan Energy Institute (INE) made the announcement after carrying out a cost projection analysis as well as holding discussions with the Energy Cabinet, The Chamber of Nicaraguan Energy Busineesses and the Higher Council for Private Enterprise (COSEP) who represent business interests. Base costs in Nicaragua are currently US $0.08 dollars per kilowatt hour but there is a complicated system of more than 50 different electricity rates, depending on type and amount of useage. The last increase was in June of 2017 when the Government of Nicaragua approved a 2% increase. http://www.ine.gob.ni/dge.html
Nicaragua to Acquire New Patrol Vessels
Nicaragua’s National Assembly has approved the purchase of two Stan Patrol 4207 patrol boats for use by the Naval Force of the Nicaraguan Military (Ejército). The US $ 9.8 million purchase was financed by the ship builder BV Scheepswerf Damen Gorinchem of the Netherlands.
Increase in Social Security Members
Latest figures; October 2016 to October 2017 show that the number of workers registered in the Nicaraguan Institute of Social Security (INSS) increased by almost 6%. In numbers, 918,821 workers are now covered by INSS which is a combined; Healthcare, Workers Compensation, Maternity Payment and Pension program. The members represent almost 30% of what is known as the Economically Active Population (the workforce). Membership in the INSS has grown steadily since 2006 when the number was only 420,000. The average wage of the members is currently 10,013 Córdobas (or 325 dollars). Informal employment continues to be concern in Nicaragua as those positions generally pay low salaries and there is no access to health care of work injury programs.
Remittance Dollars Higher than Estimated
Nicaraguans living in the US, Costa Rica and Spain continue to contribute to the record breaking total of remittance money sent home each year. Current projections are that 2017 will close with about US $1.4 billion having been sent home (a 3.5% increase over 2016). The US leads the way with 55.7% of the money originating in that country, followed by Costa Rica (19.6%) and Spain (10%).