Finally, the Private Sector has taken a principled stand against the Government

I have always said that in this country, we only react and or protest when things directly impact us and if it does not we remain silent.

The Manufactures sit back for the most part and have allowed the government to steam roller the country, but it has take a proposal of a Cess on sugar to finally wake up these guys.

Manufactures have indicated that they will NOT pay the CESS and this sets up an interesting battle between an errant government, which appears at times, not to know what its doing.

We will see how this one plays out

Too many Jamaican Government Minister behave as if they are uneducated, that sugar cess !

The headline above was hard for me to write, because I feel strongly about the matter than the headline suggest.

The government says it is about to impose a Cess on refined sugar, because sugar earmarked from manufacturing and which enjoys a low tax regime, is being fed into the local markets.

How did the Minister come by this information, ie was this reported to him and if so, I am sure it can’t be that hard to find out which manufacturers are beating the system and you simply go after those.

What is complicated about this, or it that I am must work harder to complicate a rather silly and simple matter.

If that is not simple enough, why not step it up a notch and make it a bit more complicated that it needs to.

If the GOJ believes that some manufacturer who have been allowed refined sugar are retailing the product, then they can do the following.

  1. First they ( the GOJ) can determine how many sugar is being purchased by these entities
  2. Have the entities report EVERY month how many products they used and how much sugar is consumed for this level of manufacturing
  3. Have the entities report on their month end closing stock

Have the SIA complete spot audit on the month end stocks to confirm, if what is being reported is real and where any sort of breach is found, impose a heavy tax to the culprits involved.

Damn, its that easy, but in Jamaica we must find a way to make things complicated, which leads one to question the very intent of the actions being considered.

A cess on sugar, would simply mean a pass through cost to the consumer, which translates to price increases.

No Jay, it cannot be that simple, it was Hylton  and Kellier would have gone that route a long time ago.

Will there ever be accountability in Jamaica ?

I feel as if this country is drifting into an abyss and the population appears set to simply standby and allow it to happen.

The latest AG report paints a sorry picture about the management of the NHT and leads one to question the capabilities of those appointed to the NHT board to oversee the effectiveness and efficiency of the operations.

The competence of this board must be the focus our attention.While we can say that past boards have just been as guilty, we  MUST now ensure that the very bad practices and poor management and investment decisions that have characterized this public body, are not repeated going forward..

Every year the AG sends her report on state agencies, you can just change the name of the agency as in most cases the reports are a mirror image of each other.

  1. Poor management practices
  2. Waste of state resources
  3. Lack of accountability
  4. Poor financial management
  5. Poor execution
  6. Poor documentation practices
  7. Poor standards
  8. Failure to comply with government procurement standards
  9. Failure to file statutory reports
  10. Failure to create and where created, failure to meet performance targets.

The list goes on an on.  We read them and get excited for two days, but then its back to business again, for the cycle to be repeated over and over again.

Many of us are misled to believe that these poor practices and misdeeds have no material impact on us, but I would hasten to say that is not so, as its the massive waste and leakage from these agencies , which have made our lives a living hell.

Until Jamaicans decide to take a stand and insist on accountability in every sphere of governance, then this country will continue is downward trajectory of failure and nothing will stop it.

The politician cannot do it, the PSJO, the JMA.. JFJ etc cannot do it, its the 2.7 million of us who need to get up off our collective asses and say enough is enough.

When you can have someone who is a perennial failure such as Lambert Brown,  a man who has locked down many companies and put thousands out of work being a senator and ,member of the NHT, you know the country is in the wrong hands and is in trouble.

Not only, will this incompetent bastard fail to keep his trap shut,  he has the gall to lash out at anyone who questions his incompetence. How can we have such such major failures in the old board and a new one is named with people like this and the population remains quiet. I guess our failure is evident for the world to see.

It seems as if Jamaicans have accepted failure as an options and have no desire for better in this country and that is so sad.

The NHT AG report will soon blow over and its back to incompetence once again, which will all be revealed in the next report and no action will be demanded of the population and nothing will be done, its just business as usual.

Oh, don’t add cess to sugar or we will shut down the country !

Obama’s visit was fruitful, Jamaicans will see less USA cable channels ( AJ Nicholson)

Now this post is meant to be humorous since I am not supporting illegal activity.

So when the Dinosaurs AG Nicholson suggested that the visit of USA President Barack Obama is a expression of confidence in the PNP government and a return to high esteem in which Jamaica was held before the lost 4 years I smiled.

It turns out that as result of the presidents visit, the delegation was able to watch USA channels that are only legal for broadcast in the USA, in accordance with the intellectual property right laws in the USA.

Jamaicans are now likely to lose a minimum of 19 channels and a maximum of up to 63 depending on the cable provider you use.

There are some channels that simply cannot be shown overseas ie you cannot get a license to show these and will be the first ones to be removed.

So Mr Nicholson, one benefit that we have received thus far is less cable channels, which means most Jamaicans will get less value for the same amount of money.

I bet you when you open your mouth, you did not see this coming.

Jamaica’s Passport Powerless – ‘Country’s Perceived Leadership In The Region In Danger’

The Jamaican passport is ranked as one of the least valuable travel documents in the Caribbean based on the number of countries which allow its holders visa free travel through their ports of entry.

According to power rankings released on Monday by, travel and residence websitepassportindex.org, holders of a Jamaican passport are granted visa free access to 68 out of the 147 countries it checked around the globe.

This left the Jamaican passport with a power ranking of 50. This is the fourth lowest in the CARICOM with only Guyana, Surinam and Haiti’s passports less valuable.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20150424/jamaicas-passport-powerless-countrys-perceived-leadership-region-danger

Can we have a comment from AJ Nicholson

Can we

If Anchor prove it can get US$5B in 30 days, the GOJ should employ them as Financial Advisers

If any Jamaican who listeedn keenly to Dr Omar Davis, Dr Peter Phillips and Anthony Hylton and couple that with basic knowledge of the financial market,  would know that it is IMPOSSIBLE for AFG to prove that they can underwrite/undertake this project in 30 days.

US$5B on investments is NOT chicken feed, this is big bucks and is equivalent to the entire budget of Jamaica for the 2015/2016 financial year.

The PNP cabinet (yes d ole a dem), now wants us to believe that in 29 days ( one day already has passed), AFG should be in a position to prove as finances that they can underwrite this MASSIVE project.

Well if anyone reading this can believe it, then they need to get their heads examined.

It really therefore bring into question the capacity of the PNP cabinet to ferret out NONSENSE when it presented even by another cabinet minister and to act in a manner that suggest to the world that we know what is it we are doing.

This is yet another failure of the Portia Simpson Miller lead administration to mislead the Jamaican people, but the sad part about this is Jamaicans will make them pay for this nonsense.

Folks, I will tell you now, that at the end of 30 days, nothing will happen and the much touted $5B investment will die a natural death and Hylton will remain as Commerce Minister

In fact, I would want to suggest that one of the partners will issue a public statement suggesting that given the growing controversy surrounding the project, they have decided to walk away.

“Anchoring” with the wrong people, troubling developments. A commonsenseja expose

Investment and Commerce Minister, like his colleague Phillip Paulwell is searching for a signature project, one which will suggest he has not been a failing minister and its this desperation which has allowed the trained lawyer to make a major blunder, just like Paulwell.

Anthony Hylton told us that he had received a unsolicited proposal  from Anchor Financial Group and Krauck Engineering Systems to build out a logistics hub in Jamaica, which could see about US$5B worth on investment coming to Jamaica.  This would have been the single largest capital project in the history of Jamaica.

EWI had proposed a US$734M project, which at the time would have been the single largest ever capital project in Jamaica. EWI at the time and submitted its proposal, not to the government of Jamaica, but to the Minister of Energy Phillip Paulwell.

Note the striking similarity to the two, but it does not end their. Like Paulwell, Anthony has taken the proposal to cabinet and just like EWI as controversial at it was, cabinet approved whatever was submitted to it.

Anthony has given the group 30 days to prove they could under take the project, in EWI cases, they were given time to first make a deposit then to prove they could finance the project and we all know how that ended up.

Cabinet appeared not to have learned anything from the last debacle and having been let off the hook, less than a year later we find ourselves in the very same position and no doubt the country will let this errant government off the hook once again.

What really happened

( The analysis below is my personal views, this is based on circumstantial evidence both the minister and what is in the media space).

How did the Anchor/Krauck “deal” come about and what seems to be missing.

From reports coming out of Krauck Engineering Systems, they were approached by Anchor Financial Group and asked if they would have an interest in partnering with them to build out a Logistics Hub in Jamaica.

Krauck Engineering Systems, which appears to be a good Engineering Management Company agreed in principle to have discussions with Anchor on this proposal.

The question that immediately arise is how on earth could this have happened?

Folks, their is little or no “logic” to this kind of approach and here is why,( this is where I come down really hard on main stream media for failing to ask the right questions.)

WHO APPROACHED ANCHOR FINANCIAL GROUP.?

You may ask, why is this question relevant in the scheme of things.

The logical approach would be for a company who has experience in logistics hub design and who would have been hearing about what Jamaica is seeking to first take an interest in what we are doing.

They would have had to then met with a Jamaican representative ( possible government official) to get a good picture of what Jamaica is looking for in this logistics hub and having gotten that information, take a position that they would look to pursue this matter further.

The next step would be that Firm A ( lets call them that) would seek out two partners to help with the project

  1. A financing company with demonstrated capability to garner the funds
  2. A  project manager , to carry out the execution of the project per Firm A design.

Given the above ” logistic”  position , who is Firm A ?

It is simply not logical for a purely financier to approach a Engineering Management Company and then a Government and offer a proposal to invest up to US$5B into something, they were never approached on by a third party, that just does not make any sense at all.

It is logical for a company to have first been in dialogue with the GOJ, shown interest and then go and seek financing and a project management team.

Anthony Hylton however has made it clear than this was an UNSOLICITED PROPOSAL, which is completely defies logic or his is lying.

What about the proposal itself ?

I will posit that Anchor Financial Group NEVER gave Anthony Hylton any such proposal and I will venture to suggest that Mr Hylton’s  statements are not only inaccurate (for a trained lawyer) but are bordering on down right dishonesty.

There could NEVER have been any such proposal as that would have suggested that a lot ground work would have had to have already been done, which would  have included Mr Hylton himself. Any such proposal would have to have had as basic requirements for sensible discussion the following

  1. Project intent
  2. Project scope
  3. Drawings showing design concepts
  4. Some prior discussions with major shipping companies/lines on economic vialbility of this hub can it get the traffic to recover their investments and make a profit.
  5. Costing estimate
  6. Funding sources
  7. Project Managers
  8. Estimated timeline etc

If Anthony Hylton is to be believed ie if he is not lying then, he would have had to have not had any extensive sit down meeting with Anchor Financial Group or have anyone representing him in any extensive meetings with them( AFG).

If the above is not true, then Anthony Hylton may want to tell the public, how is it that Anchor Financial could have presented him with a proposal, if they have had no idea of what is it the government of Jamaica was seeking in terms of a functional logistics hub.

If that is not the case, then Mr Hylton is not as smart as his educational qualification would suggest and may want to walk away now, if he intends to practice as a lawyer, when he leaves representational politics .

Why should he when Paulwell who himself if a lawyer continues to screw up over and over again and still retains his position. 🙂

How about the “secret” MOU ?

I laughed when I heard, we now have a MOU to talk, ok so let’s talk

  1. Who drafted this MOU ?
  2. What is the intent of the MOU and why was it considered necessary ( remember, Anchor has already submitted a PROPOSAL and has even included a cost).
  3. What is non-binding about the MOU, If Anchor approached us, then I want to assume the GOJ drafted this MOU to protect itself , right?
  4. Do we really need a MOU to talk and if so why ?
  5. I wonder how big the MOU document is, as it really was drafted very quickly, which to me suggest this was done by AFG and not he GOJ ( You can guess where this is going)
  6. Where will these talks be taking  be taking place and who is funding it ie air fare , hotel, transportation etc, is that to be borne by the GOJ or the so called “investors”.
  7. Given that I strongly believe the MOU was drafted by AFG and handed to Hylton and the fact that it is non binding, losses that will mostly accrue coming out of this so called discussions will be borne by the people of Jamaica

Enough reading for now….

More later

Bless

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