Holness Says Gov’t Considering Changing The NWC

  • Suggests private money in registered company

The Government is considering changing the National Water Commission and the way it does business.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness said there is a need to reorganise and change the NWC from its current form, moving it from being a statutory body to a company registered under the Company’s Act.

The Prime Minister who was speaking at a Caribbean conference on water and waste water management said the NWC’s cost of providing water to people was becoming unaffordable  and the Commission was not able to do business efficiently such as raising capital for its business. He did not mention privatization but the suggestions put forward would seemingly bring it from under Government’s control where the NWC has been running up debts almost every year.

“We are also looking at raising equity finance by listing shares of the new corporate entity on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, and delegating services to private providers to function as concessionaires. These are all new models of the provision of the water service that we have to consider if we are to meet the growing challenges of providing accessible and high-quality water services to our people,” he added.

He said the changes being considered are aimed at transforming and improving the water sector’s performance.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 27th annual Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) Conference and Exhibition at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in St. James on Monday, October 8, Mr. Holness said a review of the corporate governance and the business model of the water company has been done.

“The NWC’s current business model, we realise, at times limits its ability to fulfil its own mission, leading to difficulties in raising capital or even meeting regulatory targets,” the Prime Minister noted.

“At the same time, the cost of water services is approaching unaffordable levels. In light of these challenges, the NWC and the Government are resolved to exploring new business models, including corporatisation of public and private partnership to transform the sector,” he added.

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