Government on a Mission of Socializing Wealth – PM Holness
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government has embarked on a strategy to make Jamaica an ownership economy.
The Prime Minister says this is to give back to the people of Jamaica.
“Our economic strategy is economic independence. For that we mean, the ability of the country and indeed its citizens to make decisions in its own economic interest without having to consider what it owes or what it will lose if it acts or does not act in a particular way,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In that regard, the Prime Minister contends that the Administration is on a path to secure its economic independence by pushing wealth into the hands of the people.
“Our strategy is not poverty alleviation, our strategy is not welfare, our strategy is wealth creation. I know that in the minds of many Jamaicans there is a fear that wealth creation is synonymous with exploitation. Again, we have to get that out of our psyche, out of our way of thinking. Jamaica is destined to be a rich country and we must never be afraid of wealth, we must not be afraid of making a profit. Profit is a good thing,” stated Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister made his remarks this morning (April 9) at a function to launch the Initial Public Offer (IPO) of the Government-owned Wigton Windfarm Limited. A historic eleven (11) billion shares will be on offer to the public.
During his keynote address, Prime Minister Holness underscored that there is a list of businesses operated by the Government that will soon be packaged and placed in the hands of the Jamaican citizen via the stock market.
“This will relieve Government of some massive risks; risks of corruption for example. It also ensures that scarce resources are more efficiently used which is usually the case when these resources are in the private sector. So, I believe you can see the strategy of the Government going forward,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister expressed high hopes for Wigton Windfarm Limited as persons will now be able to buy shares in the company thereby owning a stake in the organisation.
“Wigton, by virtue of being an already efficient (solar energy) operator by virtue of refining their skills in the private sector, would be at a very good advantage but would certainly be very well placed competitively to capture some of that newly determined space for procurement which means that the longevity of the company would do very well,” explained Prime Minister Holness.
The prospectus of Wigton Windfarm is now on the Jamaica Stock Exchange website. The IPO is scheduled to open on April 17 and will close on May 1, 2019.
Eleven billion shares will be offered to the public of which two billion shares will be reserved. The Government is seeking to raise more than five billion dollars from the offer.