Prime min­is­ter meets with Petro­jam staff

Out­lines new di­rec­tion and ex­pec­ta­tions

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Ro­mario Scott/Gleaner Writer

PRIME MIN­IS­TER An­drew Hol­ness has ad­vised the staff of Petro­jam that his ad­min­is­tra­tion was com­mit­ted to the proper man­age­ment of the state-run oil re­fin­ery, even as he ad­mit­ted that there was cor­rup­tion at the agency.

The prime min­is­ter, who has over­sight re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for the en­ergy port­fo­lio, said that the Gov­ern­ment was putting in place the best pos­si­ble frame­work to cor­rect the is­sues at the oil-re­fin­ery, which has been drown­ing in al­le­ga­tions of mis­man­age­ment.

“With­out good gov­er­nance, the value of this as­set which we all de­pend on will de­cline,” Hol­ness said yes­ter­day at a meet­ing with the Petro­jam em­ploy­ees.

One of the is­sues dis­cussed was the ob­vi­ous bur­den that the en­ergy port­fo­lio will have on the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter (OPM), which is joined by the hip with the Min­istr y of Eco­nomic Growth and Job Cre­ation. But the prime min­is­ter told the staff that Petro­jam was so im­por­tant that it had to be placed on top of the pri­or­ity list.

Hol­ness’ meet­ing with the em­ploy­ees fol­lows their protest last week in which they de­manded to know who, in par­tic­u­lar, the agency re­ported to at OPM.

“For the next few months, at least un­til the strate­gic re­view is com­pleted, I will take per­sonal su­per­vi­sion and over­sight of the op­er­a­tions here (Petro­jam). But, of course, I am go­ing to be ably sup­ported by the board, the man­age­ment and the man­age­ment of the en­ergy di­vi­sion,” Hol­ness ad­vised the em­ploy­ees.

Ad­dress­ing one of the burn­ing is­sues which have been high­lighted so far in the on-go­ing saga sur­round­ing Petro­jam, the prime min­is­ter de­clared that there must be no vic­tim­i­sa­tion at the en­tity.

“Petro­jam is not a po­lit­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion,” Hol­ness charged. “The only thing that I am con­cerned about is that I can get as­phalt, cook­ing gas, low sul­phur diesel, jet fuel, kerosene ... you name it. That’s all I am in­ter­ested in,” he said, point­ing out that the board had been given sim­i­lar di­rec­tion.

“We do know that there are is­sues here, as they have al­ways been, with things that you could only de­scribe as cor­rup­tion,” he added.


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