KINGSTON, Jamaica, July 30, 2018 - Minister of Science and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley today succumbed to public pressure, submitting a letter of resignation to Prime Minister Andrew Holness advising that he will immediately step away from his portfolio.
In recent months, Wheatley has been under intense pressure from the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) and members of the private sector and civil society, over reports of corruption and nepotism at the state oil-refinery, Petrojam, as well as the intense controversy surrounding two state agencies under his portfolio: National Energy Solutions (NESOL) and the Universal Service Fund (USF).
In a letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, dated July 30, Dr. Wheatley said his resignation from the Cabinet was "necessary to reassure the public that the highest standards of probity are being applied to the administration of the affairs of public bodies under the portfolios."
As someone who subscribes to the tenets of good governance and upholding public trust, I believe this necessary process of review should be done without my presence or ministerial authority."
"With immediate effect, I will step back from my duties as Minister and Cabinet minister" to "focus on my Constituency and Parliamentary obligations."
Dr. Wheatley was relieved of the Energy portfolio earlier this month in the wake wake of scandals at Petrojam and the National Energy Solutions Limited (NESOL).
Last week, the Opposition called for the resignation of the chairman of the Spectrum Management Authority, Trevor Forrest for what it said was a” vulgar attempt” to improperly influence the Authority to hire former head of NESOL, Carolyn Warren.
who resigned from NESOL last week, after it was revealed that she had six undisclosed convictions dating as far back as 25 years.