Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Private sector groups want hold on some NHT projects

Published:Wednesday | November 26, 2014 | 6:13 PM

Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor - Radio

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The country’s three major private sector groups are calling for a hold to be placed on all expenditure by the National Housing Trust (NHT) on projects not directly related to its primary mandate.

The call was made in a joint press release from the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ).

The groups say a hold must be placed on NHT transactions while an urgent review of the governance structure at the entity is carried out by an appropriate and independent body.

The call is being made in light of the NHT's controversial purchase of the Outameni property in Trelawny for $180 million.

The groups have described as "unbelievable" a statement made on Monday by the Chairman of the NHT, Easton Douglas regarding the Prime Minister’s lack of knowledge about the transaction.

Head of the PSOJ, Christopher Zacca, says the groups are concerned that Douglas stated that in the 38 years of the operations of the NHT, on no occasion has the Trust ever advised the Minister about a sale or purchase.

WATCH: NHT board explains Outameni acquisition

Zacca says the groups are deeply disappointed that the opportunity has been missed to restore public confidence in the NHT by wiping the slate clean and appointing a new Board.

He says the private sector is anxiously awaiting the outcome of the investigations by the auditor general and the contractor general.

In the meantime, he says instead of withdrawing from the partnership for transformation as suggested by others, he’ll be using those talks to press the Government on the Outameni matter.

WATCH: SPECIAL REPORT ... A trip to the Outameni Experience

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