JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Each of the island’s 63 constituencies has been allocated $10 million for project development in the areas of construction and/or repairs to roads.
  • The work, which is to begin next week, forms part of activities facilitated through the JEEP’s component of MIDP.
  • China Harbour Engineering Company is the main contractor for the overall programme, supported by a number of local sub-contractors.

More than 12,000 Jamaicans are expected to benefit from further work to be carried out under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), valued at $630 million.

Each of the island’s 63 constituencies has been allocated $10 million for project development in the areas of construction and/or repairs to roads, retaining walls, drains and sidewalks.

The work, which is to begin next week, forms part of activities facilitated through the JEEP’s component of the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP).

The MIDP is a US$352.9 million undertaking made possible by a Preferential Buyer’s Credit facility from the Government of China through the China Export-Import (EX-Im) Bank in the amount of US$300 million. The Government of Jamaica’s contribution is US$52.9 million.

China Harbour Engineering Company is the main contractor for the overall programme, supported by a number of local sub-contractors.

Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, made the disclosure at a contract signing ceremony at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, on March 18.

Dr. Davies noted that the National Works Agency (NWA) will supervise the entire programme thereby ensuring that the various projects are accurately priced, and that works are done according to specifications, on time, and on budget.

He explained that his Ministry along with the Ministry of Finance and Planning, and the JEEP Secretariat will monitor MIDP to ensure conformance to the established works portfolio, adherence to budgeted targets, and the achievements of programme schedules and deadlines.

“Payment to the main contractor will be made based on measured work done and certified by the NWA supported by independent consultants engaged for that purpose. In respect of its JEEP component, the Secretariat will undertake that verification process,” he said.

Dr. Davies further informed that all local sub-contractors will be paid from a revolving fund established by CHEC and administered jointly with the NWA to ensure timely remit to sub-contractors. “As regards the JEEP contractors, a fund of US$2 million will be established and that should be adequate to keep the project moving smoothly,” he added.

Project Director, JEEP, Lucille Brodber, informed that this component of JEEP allows for projects to be implemented not only on the highways but in the byways where the heart and soul of the nation resides.

“Our farmers, teachers, school children and taxi drivers will benefit from the road repairs and the associated infrastructure to be carried out,” she said.

She informed that 42,000 Jamaicans have been employed through the programme since it was established in 2012.

In his remarks, NWA’s Chief Executive Officer, E.G. Hunter said a dedicated team will be assigned to the undertaking of the project.

“There will not be any comingling between the obligations under MIDP and the obligations in terms of the rest of the responsibility of the NWA,” he said.

Regional Director, China Harbour Engineering Company Americas, Zhongdong Tang, said his team will be working closely with the relevant parties to ensure that the works are implemented.

JEEP is one of the Government’s strategies geared at countering unemployment among some Jamaicans, particularly those in lower socio-economic groups. It forms part of the Government’s priority focus on employment opportunities.