Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga says he suggested to Prime Minister Andrew Holness that the North-South Highway should be named after him.
Mr. Seaga was speaking Tuesday, June 12, at Unity Valley, along the highway near Monegaue, St Ann at the ceremony to name the highway after him. There has been controversy over the naming of the toll road linking Caymanas, in St Catherine and Mammee Bay in St Ann.
Mr. Seaga spoke of the importance of having a link that connected Kingston and Ocho Rios, adding that those two urban centres have been two of the projects that he had helped develop. “And when it came to the fact that they were so easily joined, I said well…that highway should be named after me…and I wasn’t embarrassed in telling Prime Minister (Holness) so. And in his wisdom, he realized it and accepted it,” Mr. Seaga said.
He commended the government of China for playing what he said was the most significant role in the development of the highway. “They took it on when others failed and they succeeded,” he said, describing the roads as “walls of stone, a cut through a hill through a mountain.”
He had everyone laughing as he chuckled, mentioning the convenience of traveling on the new highway. “I’ve covered without speeding, the distance from Falmouth to Kingston in three-quarters of an hour, one New Year’s Day!” He said.
Mr. Seaga gave a brief history of his involvement with various developments across Jamaica which involved the buying of large tracts of land, for new township infrastructure, creating harbours, beaches, developing the resort town of Ocho Rios and Negril with the aid of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) that he created.
“I’m 88…but no matter whether is 88 or 98 I’m still going to be doing my best for the country” he added.
By Christal Gooden