Divesting Wigton, the best policy decision, says Holness

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Divesting Wigton, the best policy decision, says Holness

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government has made the best decision to divest Wigton Windfarm Limited, a windmill power generating facility in Manchester.

According to Holness, the decision to divest the renewable energy company came after careful consideration to maximise the asset through private sector participation.

“When we became the Government, the existing thought was that we needed to own the asset for obvious reason(s)” Holness said in a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

“It is a profitable asset, why would the Government want to divest itself of a profitable asset. Government must always be seeking to divest itself of unprofitable assets and then the second reason is that for strategic reasons you'd want to have an energy company. You want to own it and that was the thought held by previous Governments and indeed there were some in this Government [who] held that view,” he added.

“So, there was a wrestling of ideas as to what should be the position on Wigton. But there is an overarching policy which is that if we are to achieve economic growth we have to fully maximise all the assets that we have,” said the prime minister.

He was speaking at the Jamaica Stock Exchange official listing ceremony for Wigton Windfarm.

The historic Initial Public Offering (IPO) was hugely successful and raised $14 billion with 31thousand Jamaicans owning shares in the renewable energy company, the OPM said.

“The mass of the Jamaican people have never had the opportunity to truly own their country so if you consider with enslavement we didn't own our labour even after the abolition of slavery we didn't own land and even when we became independent the majority of Jamaicans did not own our economy and so in the broader scheme of things our Government has to be instrumental and proactive in promoting ownership,” stated Holness.

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