The People’s National Party is again chastising the Jamaica Labour Party, over what it calls a ‘misuse of public funds,’ this time within the Agricultural Sector.
They are calling on the Andrew Holness led-administration to immediately address rising concerns within the sector in light of a performance audit report of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
The report which was conducted in October by the Auditor General’s Department, assessed RADA’S management of the rehabilitation of farm roads over the period 2015-2016 and 2018-2019.
112 Road-rehabilitation contracts valued at $1.6 billion were reviewed, but rada only accounted for four contracts valued at $90.8 million.
Party Leader Dr. Peter Phillips notes that the heart of the scandal is that two government agencies, both RADA and the National Works Agency (NWA) were tasked with the same work, to clear one kilometer per road, however both entities received varying rates.
Dr. Phillips says this is another “massive rip-off scheme by another agency of the government”
He is suggesting that the Auditor General conducts a full financial report of rada alongside a full investigation by MOCA.
The PNP President is calling on the Prime Minister to intervene by asking the Minister with Responsibility of the Sector, Audley Shaw and J.C Hutchinson to step aside until the investigation becomes clear.
He was speaking at a Press Conference at the Party’s Headquarters on Old Hope Road, in Kingston.
Meanwhile RADA’s Chairman and Agriculture Specialist, Nigel Myrie, is rejecting as absurd, ridiculous and false the allegations made Dr. Phillips.
myrie says the claim by the PNP officials that $1.6-billion was corruptly spent by the entity in St. Thomas under its farm road rehabilitation project during the 2017/2018 fiscal year is untrue. He says in fact that amount is close to the total spent by RADA under the programme in the entire country.
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