Crime Control a Must – Prime Minister

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, deep in thought as he tours the Alpart/JISCO alumina plant in Nain, St. Elizabeth, by bus on June 21. The Prime Minister delivered the keynote address at the reopening.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has emphasised that if Jamaica is to be the place in the region that comes to mind first when investors are thinking about doing business in the Caribbean, “we have to bring crime under control”.
  • Mr. Holness said he has never subscribed to the notion that poverty and economic hardship can be justifiably used as an excuse for crime.
  • Mr. Holness said he is particularly impressed with the attitude and discipline shown by Nain residents, who, even with the closure of Alpart and faced with a rather daunting economic future, never once thought of resorting to a life of crime.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has emphasised that if Jamaica is to be the place in the region that comes to mind first when investors are thinking about doing business in the Caribbean, “we have to bring crime under control”.

Mr. Holness said he has never subscribed to the notion that poverty and economic hardship can be justifiably used as an excuse for crime.

“It might be a reason, but certainly not an excuse,” the Prime Minister stressed, while giving the keynote address at the reopening of the Chinese-owned Alumina Partners of Jamaica (Alpart)/Jiuquan Iron & Steel (Group) Company Limited (JISCO) mining facility in Nain, St. Elizabeth, on June 21.

Mr. Holness said he is particularly impressed with the attitude and discipline shown by Nain residents, who, even with the closure of Alpart and faced with a rather daunting economic future, never once thought of resorting to a life of crime.

“It is clear to me that the people in this area, though they were faced with significant economic hardship, found ways to survive, which were lawful,” the Prime Minister noted.

“They found ways that preserved their dignity… ways that preserved their independence and ways that eventually found them alternatives on which they could survive,” he added.

The Prime Minister said it would be remiss of him not to acknowledge the great work done by the community in managing the fallout, resulting from the then closure of Alpart.

He noted that throughout the ordeal, the community ensured that the plant was preserved and that some of the social services that Alpart used to provide, such as water, were maintained.

For his part, Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry, said he is pleased to see that the reopening of the plant has created some 800 jobs.

“You can tell that things are starting to happen in Nain again. You can feel the economic activities taking place… the hairdressers and the bars are starting to do good business again,” he said.

The former owners of Alpart, Russian alumina giants, UC Rusal, sold the company to JISCO, which has invested heavily to bring the facility back into operation.

A fully operational Alpart used to provide direct employment and indirect benefits to residents of St. Elizabeth and also the neighbouring parishes of Manchester and Clarendon.

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