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Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says he is awaiting a detailed report from the Portland Municipal Corporation about the recent fire that engulfed a section of the Musgrave market in Port Antonio.
“Once we get that [report], Madame Speaker, we will pay our attention to how we’re going to deal with the repairs to the market,” he said.
Minister McKenzie was making his contribution to the 2023/24 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (May 30).
He noted that three years ago, millions of dollars were expended by the Government to carry out “substantial renovation” at the facility.
The Minister said that as the country invests in the buildout of a modern network of markets “we have to find some innovative ways to ensure that our markets don’t end up like several markets that have gone up in flames”.
Minister McKenzie also spoke about the “law and order” issue of chaotic vending across the country and said that announcements will be made shortly as to the approach that will be taken to address the problem, particularly at major town centres across the island.
He noted, however, that “It cannot be done by government alone”.
“We are going to be inviting the private-sector businesses; it is everybody’s game. We will be saying a lot more on those efforts,” the Minister said.