Aubyn Hill speaks at NCU Alumni Endowment Banquet
Financial expert and international banker Aubyn Hill has called for greater transparency and accountability from the nation's leaders to facilitate the resuscitation of the Jamaican economy.
In order for Jamaica to embrace a positive vision and impact the world, Hill said elected officials must sustain four to seven per cent economic growth to create well-paying jobs, generate prosperity and wealth, and consciously build wholesome families with strong family values in Jamaica. Hill stated that with careful planning, relentless focus on the objectives, efficient and rigorous implementation and transparency in every phase, especially in monitoring and measuring results, Jamaica could move from an average of one per cent growth over a 40-year period to a four to seven per cent growth in a one to four-year period.
In calling for a radical reform of the energy sector, Hill who was speaking at the Northern Caribbean University's Alumni Endowment banquet at the university's Mandeville campus gymnatorium stated that, "in Jamaica's renewable energy case, we have abundant solar, bagasse from sugar cane, copious wind streams to produce energy and even water for hydroelectricity. Let us use them."
"Use the scalpel of legislation and regulation to help reduce our oil bill that reaches as high as US$2.4 billion a year by a significant 20 to 25 per cent in a nine to 12-month period," he said. "My vision is that we need to cut our energy cost per kWh to less than half today's cost in a 12 to 24-month period."
With the perennial water challenges faced by residents of Manchester, Hill took the National Water Commission (NWC) to task by suggesting that the Government legislate new mortgages be extended only to those buildings and housing schemes that incorporate renewable energy and water catchment schemes.
"Watch the reduction in our import of fuel oil, less pressure on the perennially loss-making National Water Commission, and the expansion of decent jobs not only to construct buildings but to make sure they all have water catchment gutters and renewable energy systems," he said. "Legislate that the loss-making NWC use solar or wind power to pump its water. NWC uses 47 per cent of the energy consumed by government institutions - about 15M kWh per month at a cost of about JA$280 million."