#KINGSTON, Jan. 24 (JIS): The European Union (EU)-funded Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP) will be carrying out rehabilitation works at six police stations across the island, at a cost of approximately $235 million.
They include Denham Town (Kingston) at a cost of $36.81 million; Franklyn Town (Kingston), $42.48 million; Lionel Town (Clarendon), $36.87 million; Mount Salem (St. James), $42.53 million; Four Paths (Clarendon), $37.86 million; and Adelphi (St. James), $38.44 million.
Details were provided at Thursday’s (January 23) launch of the PRP police station rehabilitation project, at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in New Kingston.
The project will be implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), which undertakes activities of the PRP, and will take place during the next four months.
Work will be carried out on bathroom facilities, training rooms, kitchens, lunch areas, cell blocks, fences and driveways of some of the stations.
Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said two of the projects will be undertaken at police stations located in the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) – Denham Town and Mount Salem – and should significantly contribute to the development of these areas.
“They are communities which have challenges. In fact, the very definition of the programme, the Poverty Reduction Programme, indicates that the Jamaica Social Investment Fund moves into areas which have serious socio-economic challenges,” Dr. Chang said.
“When we go in with the Zones of Special Operations and with JSIF, which seeks to not only provide jobs but also seeks to improve the environment and bring safety, that is a fundamental shift in what happens,” he added.
The Minister emphasised that one major objective of these rehabilitation activities is to strengthen the police force, which is the primary law-enforcement agency, and guarantee citizen safety in those communities.
He thanked the EU for being one of Jamaica’s principal partners in many areas, such as the social services sector, and for its funding.
Meanwhile, Managing Director, JSIF, Omar Sweeney, said the projects will help with safety and security in the communities located near the police stations, adding that more than 200 police personnel will benefit from these upgrades.
For her part, Head of Delegation of the European Union in Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, said the need to provide safer environments is one of the reasons the police stations were chosen for rehabilitation.
“It is with this in mind that we at the European Union, along with our Jamaicans partners, designed the Poverty Reduction Programme, to support specific elements of Jamaica’s own strategies to achieve a secure, cohesive and just society,” Ms. Wasilewska said.
“The men and women who work at the police stations that are planned to be rehabilitated or constructed during this period of the Poverty Reduction Programme, collectively serve some 50,000 residents. I am particularly happy about this fact,” she added.
Ms. Wasilewska said police officers deserve decent working conditions, because they are highly relied on to improve the security in the country.
She said although funding from the programme will be coming to an end this year, partnerships between Jamaica and the EU will continue.
Turks & Caicos Islands Cabinet Report, Meeting held January 10
#TurksandCaicos, January 26, 2023 – His Excellency the Governor, Nigel Dakin, chaired the 1st meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday 10 January 2023 at the Premier’s Office on Providenciales.
All Members were present.
At this meeting Cabinet:
- Approved the Fiscal Strategic Policy Statement (FSPS) 2023-27 which includes the fiscal targets of the Government for the next four (4) years to be submitted to the UK Government before being submitted to the House of Assembly for approval. Members also agreed a wide range of associated steps going forwards.
- Approved an application for duty concessions on the importation of construction materials, furniture, fixtures and fittings from Grace Bay Club Ltd. to allow the resort to complete refurbishment work.
- Approved an extension and revision to the MOU between the TCI Government and TCI Finance Limited, which leads on the development and growth of Financial Services in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
- Approved adjustments to the Agriculture Finance Support Programme (Agro- Grant Incentive) for the provision of compensation for registered farms that incurred damages due to Hurricane Fiona in 2022. Members also supported the adoption of a “Farmer Information System”.
- Approved proposed measures to control the roaming of livestock in the country covering the registration of livestock farms, construction and maintenance of holding facilities, and the transport of livestock.
- Approved a proposed model and structure for the New Destination Management and Marketing Organisation and Tourism Regulatory Authority. Members also approved an implementation process, the composition of the appointed Board of Directors, staffing implications, and a financing model, including the establishment of Tourism Improvement Districts and the payment of fees by tourism entities.
- Approved amendments to the Schedule of the Ports Authority (Stevedorers, Fees, and Charges) Regulations 2008, introducing a variation of stevedoring tariffs. Members also agreed next steps.
- Noted the impact of the moratorium on the issuance of new visas to Hattian nationals originating out of Haiti and approved the implementation of a moratorium on the issuing of all visas to Haitian Nationals entering the Turks and Caicos Islands for six months with effect from 11 January 2023.
- Approved the granting of a licence to a named individual for the purpose of erecting a swim deck protruding from the Crown parcel 60400/366 into the adjoining sea and the payment of associated annual fees.
- Approved the renewal of a lease for the rental of office space for the Government’s Planning Department on Providenciales for a period of three years.
- Discussed the renewal of a lease for the rental of office space for the Government’s Gender Affairs and Social Development Departments on Grand Turk and agreed next steps.
- Approved the use of existing funds for the use of retrofitting the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College.
- Approved the gradual outsourcing of janitorial services for government buildings, including schools.
- Approved the observance of Public Holidays on 8 May 2023 to mark the King’s Coronation and on 19 June 2023 to mark the King’s Birthday.
- Was updated on issues related to the Ministries of:
- Education, and
- AG Chambers,
- Office of the Deputy Governor, and
- Office of the Governor
Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.
JAMAICA: Multibillion-Dollar Shipyard Project Launched
#Kingston, Jamaica, January 23, 2023 – Economic opportunities are expected to abound for Jamaica, through the establishment of a multibillion-dollar ship repair and maintenance facility in the country.
Called the German Ship Repair Jamaica (GSRJ) Shipyard, the project will provide dry docking (lifting the ship out of the water) for commercial vessels up to 20,000 tons, and a range of maintenance and repair services to vessels operating in and around the Caribbean and Central America.
Phase one of the project, which is to be completed by October/November this year, is being undertaken at an overall cost of nearly $6 billion (or US$37 million), with financial partner Sagicor Bank committing to half of this amount as a bank loan. This will see the first floating dry dock, JAM-DOCK 1, becoming operational.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who delivered the main address at Tuesday’s (January 24) launch at the Kingston Harbour along the Sir Florizel Glasspole Highway, said that “this project will earn foreign exchange”.
“It will provide high-quality jobs, and it will contribute greatly to the prosperity of our country,” he added.
Mr. Holness noted that the development will contribute to the positioning of Kingston Harbour as a global logistics hub, pointing out that each year, Jamaica receives approximately 3,000 port calls while approximately 180,000 vessels operate within the region.
“With the investments that are being made in improving Kingston as a logistic hub, we are certain that we have now closed one of the major gaps that have existed and that more ships passing through the region will be inclined to come to Jamaica,” he said.
For his part, GSRJ Limited Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Colonel Martin Rickman, said that the project “represents a new industry for Jamaica with great opportunities for other spin-off businesses, hence even contributing more to the economy”.
He pointed out that Jamaica’s “excellent geo-strategic location” makes the country particularly suitable for having a shipyard.
Detailing the specific operations of the facility, Colonel Rickman explained that “we here at GSRJ Shipyard will be able to lift that ship out of the water to conduct many types of work on the hull, the propeller, engine repairs and the entire nine yards, so this is significant for us”.
By international maritime law, all ships are required to be dry-docked to check for safety and integrity once every five years and attain class certification.
The CEO said that the training component of the project is crucial to enable workers to meet the international standards to carry out the required operations.
He informed that some persons have already been trained.
In his remarks, President and CEO of Sagicor Group, Christopher Zacca, said that as lead arranger, the organisation is “confident that this new development will make a significant impact on the country’s shipping industry while also contributing to our productive economy”.
“We want all Jamaicans to share the vision of the stakeholders; this is a big deal for Jamaica and we want Kingston to have the leading ship repair and servicing port in the Caribbean,” Mr. Zacca said.
The GSRJ’s partners include Harren and Partner Group, Germany; Kingston Holding, Jamaica; Kloska Group, Germany and HAT-SAN Shipyard, Turkey.
Government agencies involved in the project are the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), the National Land Agency (NLA), National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Attorney General’s Department, and others.
Several private-sector entities are also involved in making the project a reality.
The GSRJ started business in Jamaica in 2016 with the intention to build a ship-repair facility at the Kingston Harbour to boost employment and introduce the country to viable economic activities in the shipping and maritime industry.
Contact: Mickella Anderson
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