Thu | Aug 17, 2017

NWA to face questions from Opposition about $600m debushing programme

Published:Tuesday | December 13, 2016 | 12:35 AM

Technocrats from the National Works Agency (NWA) are expected to be grilled by Opposition MPs today over the controversial $600 million de-bushing work programme.

The programme has caused a breakdown in the relationship between the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) and the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

NWA chief executive officer E.G. Hunter will lead the team that will appear before the Infrastructure and Physical Development Committee of Parliament at 10 o'clock this morning.

The NWA has been implementing the de-bushing programme which the PNP has said the JLP used to buy support for November's local government elections.

The opposition has also complained that the Government breached convention by not including elected PNP representatives in the implementation of the islandwide programme.

This will be the first time the Opposition will be able to ask questions about the project in Parliament.

Last week, they walked out of a sitting of the House of Representatives after not getting certainty that Prime Minister Andrew Holness would have made a statement on the matter.

Holness eventually made the statement in which he maintained that the debushing programme merely coincided with the elections as it was in a response to weeks of heavy rains.

The Prime Minister also bowed to pressure by announcing what he called a compromise that would see the remaining funds being used for a drain cleaning programme in all constituencies.

Holness says all MPs will be able to influence the decision on which drains from the NWA's list are to be prioritised.