Saturday, April 13, 2024

Mia questions NHC, Jada link

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OPPOSITION Leader Mia Mottley has major concerns over the relationship between the National Housing Corporation and the Jada Group of companies.And at a Press conference yesterday morning in her office in  Parliament yard, she took issue especially with the land transaction at Coverley, Christ Church.“Did the National Housing Corporation (NHC) sell land to the Jada Group [Housing Concepts] at Coverley, Christ Church, for $3 a square foot while boasting  about wanting to sell lots to poor and low-income Barbadians for $5 per square foot?”Mottley indicated she had submitted a private member’s resolution to ask the House of Assembly to refer the matters pertaining to the award of contracts at the NHC between December 2008 and July 31, 2010, to the Public Accounts Committee in the interest of achieving full transparency and accountability.She also wants to know: What are the arrangements with the Jada Group [Housing Concepts] and the NHC at Coverley and Country Road?Who carries the risk if the zero lot line houses are not sold? Did any of the Jada Group pay for and/or apply for planning permission for the units to be constructed at Valerie?Mottley queried if there were any discussions with the Jada group in respect of the more than 1 000 houses to be built at Bushy Park and wanted to know why there was no contract in place with Clico for the housing project with the NHC at Constant (St George).Saying that there were more questions than answers, Mottley queried the silence of Minister of Housing Michael Lashley, particularly in relation to what she called “the serious issues” which have been placed in the public domain by the former chairman of the NHC board, Marilyn Rice-Bowen.“Rather than having these matters addressed, the normally talkative minister has not opened his mouth to utter a single comment, not even in the debate on housing in Parliament last Tuesday.“Instead, an unnamed source has sought to change the debate by attacking the former chairman personally on decisions taken months ago”.She added: “The minister has a duty to answer the serious charges laid against him by the former chairman – whom he appointed. She recalled that the Government had promised full transparency and accountability in its manifesto and a new Freedom of Information Act.Mottley also called on Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to come out and speak to the public about this and other matters.“The country accepts that Prime Minister David Thompson is unwell, but they expect his Cabinet to step up to the crease,” she said. (MK/MB)

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