Prison offer still open to the Jamaican gov't - British diplomat
The British High Commissioner to Jamaica, Asif Hamad, says the ball is in the court of the Jamaican government as far as the prison offer is concerned.
The British diplomat says his government is ready to resume those talks with Jamaica.
Speaking yesterday at a forum organised by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Hamad said the assistance with building the prison also comes with one of the largest aid packages for development across the region.
The Andrew Holness administration earlier this year had rejected the offer by the British government to assist in building the new state-of-the-art prison.
The $5.5 billion offer for the 1,500-bed facility by the British government would only have covered about 40 per cent of the cost to build a modern prison.
Jamaica would have had to find the remaining sum.
Further to that, a known condition of the offer was the transfer of 300 Jamaican prisoners in British jails to complete their sentences in Jamaica.
At the time of announcing the government's rejection of the UK prison deal, Foreign Affairs Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith, told the Senate in January that the terms of the offer were not beneficial to Jamaica as a whole.
She did not disclose the unfavourable terms.