According to Prime Minister Holness, the decision to divest the solar 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). 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. 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 Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the Jamaica Stock Exchange official Listing Ceremony for Wigton Windfarm Limited.
The historic Initial Public Offering (IPO) was hugely successful and raised JMD $14billion. Thirty-one thousand Jamaicans now own shares in the renewable energy company.
In that regard, Prime Minister Holness highlighted this success as an example of the Government’s proactive approach to ownership.
“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 Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister emphasised that the Government is ensuring that the average Jamaican benefits from the decisions that creates wealth.
“What we are trying to do now is to socialize wealth. We’re trying to ensure that the average Jamaican benefits from the good decision making that creates wealth and be a part of that process and we will continue to do this” said Prime Minister Holness.
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