Jamaica News: The Government has commenced a review of the corporate governance and business model of the National Water Commission (NWC).
The announcement was made last night (October 8) by Prime Minister Andrew Holness as he gave the keynote address during the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) 27th Annual Conference and Exhibition in Montego Bay.
Mr. Holness says the review of the NWC comes in light of the challenges facing the water sector.
The Prime Minister indicated that examining the governance and business model of the entity is critical in transforming the sector.
“The NWC’s current business model we realize at times limits its ability to fulfil its own mission leading to difficulties in raising capital or even meeting regulatory targets and at the same time, the cost of water services is approaching unaffordable levels. In light of these challenges, the NWC and the Government of Jamaica are resolved to exploring new business models including corporatization of public-private partnerships to transform water sector performance”, explained Prime Minister Holness.
During his address, Prime Minister Holness highlighted the prioritized options under consideration by the Government.
• The rapid non-revenue water reduction using performance-based contracts
• Reorganizing the NWC changing its form from a statutory body to a company registered under the Companies Act
• Raising equity finance by listing shares of the new corporate entity on the Jamaica Stock Exchange
• Delegating services to private providers to function as concessionaires within the service provision of water
The Prime Minister says “these are all new models for the provision of the water service that we have to consider if we are to meet the growing challenges of providing accessible, high-quality water services to our people”.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister stated that the (CWWA) conference is not only timely but synergetic with the Jamaican experience.
“Deliberations on climate resilient infrastructure, the state of regional planning and investment will be very important to the business model review now taking place in Jamaica’s own NWC. These are critical considerations for our Small Island Developing State in terms of the context of vulnerabilities and our obvious economic limitations.”
He concluded that “with climate change being the most important to the water sector a regional strategic plan is critical. The government of Jamaica is very eager to see the action plan as this will help to guide the response of the public sector to the issues facing the water sector”.
Source: JIS News