Thu | Jan 23, 2020

Chung: Politics not a factor in slow divestment in waste sector

Published:Saturday | August 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer

Dennis Chung, chairman of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSMWA), has rejected claims by Canadian investor Michael Mosgrove that politics has played a role in slowing the development of Jamaica's recycling and waste-to-energy industry.

"That is rubbish! What has delayed it is the procurement process that we have in place that everybody has to follow. He was proposing that he had a number of trucks," related Chung. "He wanted a letter indicating that we were willing to take the trucks from him. He expected to have got a contract from the NSWMA. We ended up saying to him that we were not in a position, from a budgetary point of view, to entertain any transaction with him."

Chung said, however, that progress has been slow.

"The privatisation team, I would say, is moving slowly ... . Why are we taking six years to privatise this thing? I don't understand. It has caused us at the NSWMA to assume the holding pattern. It is just coming to light now, and the prime minister is trying to intervene," said the NSWMA chairman.

"I agree that some persons, who expressed interest, have moved on. If you take too long, people will move on. Capital is not loyal to any one country," he added.

Responding to accusations that there was controversy surrounding his name that prevented him from securing a contract, Mosgrove said:

"The accusation of scamming is not true. I absolutely deny that. When I put in my tender, I had to go through the contractor general's office. We had to supply affidavits, get letters from Canada to prove we were upstanding people. That thing that was posted was posted on a stupid blog."