Mon | Feb 17, 2020

The Petrojam saga has many twists

Published:Wednesday | February 13, 2019 | 12:24 AM


It is oft said that truth is stranger than fiction. In Jamaica, though, sometimes, what is posited as truth is, in fact, fiction. The Petrojam saga has many twists, turns, and even ‘rams’ and ‘racks’, too. In the early aftermath of the Petrojam scandal/saga, if I’m not mistaken, PM Holness stated that the state entity would, or should, be sold. Today, a 360°- turnaround, against the latter, has taken place and, now the Government of Jamaica is moving, fastly and furiously, to buy the 49 per cent Venezuelan-owned stake in Petrojam.

I have three critical questions for PM Holness:

1). Sir, why have you, still, to date, not appointed an energy minister to succeed Andrew Wheatley, as you, efficiently and effectively did in appointing a new chairman and board at Petrojam, following the resignations of the former executive team?

2). Why did it take a scandal of this magnitude for the Government of Jamaica to see the urgency for Jamaica to acquire sole ownership of Petrojam – taking into consideration all the critical reasons offered by your very capable, very articulate and very likable Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith?

3). Last, why was acquiring sole ownership of the state agency not of critical importance prior to the revelations of all the corruption that had ensued there, under Wheatley’s watch?