Samuda Blasts Hylton Over Logistics - Related MOU Row

Release Date: 
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 20:00

Following the non-signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Monday regarding Minister Hylton’s announcement of US$5 Billion in logistics-related investments, Opposition Spokesman on Industry, Investment & Commerce, Karl Samuda, says portfolio Minister Anthony Hylton has spun a web of confusion and left the nation with more questions than answers.

The Opposition Spokesperson said "Clarity has to be brought to this web of confusion.  The Minister on the one hand would have us believe that these people from Krauck Systems/Anchor Finance will serve as investors or financiers, while on the other hand, utterances from Krauck/Anchor personnel suggest that they understand their role to be that of project managers.  Either way, the Minister has questions to answer, and this is particularly necessary in light of his announcements in different fora, including a major investment conference in Montego Bay and in the Parliament, of a US$5 Billion investment in logistics-related investments.”

Mr. Samuda says he is alarmed by Minister Hylton's suggestion that in a bid to engage in confidential discussions with prospective investors Krauck/Anchor and in order to establish their credentials, he has to enter into an MOU.  He said Minister Hylton should not only off on any signing in light of all the questions raised about the entities, but must ensure that no commitment to them is made unless the credentials of these bodies are established.

The Opposition Spokesman said: "It is unfortunate that a Minister of Government, in such an important Ministry, would not first satisfy himself as to the credentials of investors before proceeding to an MOU.  The Opposition would also like to know the basis on which the Cabinet arrived at its decision now that we have learnt that there will be no MOU signing until Minister Hylton has met with Ministers Phillips and Davies in relation to this matter." 

Mr. Samuda continued: "The Minister ought to recognize and appreciate that what an MOU of this nature does is to guarantee a certain level of protection to the prospective investor.  So, with Minister Hylton indicating that he is allowing Krauck/Anchor a period of 30 days to establish their credentials at this stage, is testament to him having recklessly put the proverbial cart before the horse."

In closing, Mr. Samuda said that while the nation can breathe a sigh of relief that the Minister did not go through with Monday's intended signing of the MOU, we are still no clearer on the actual nature of this investment, how the US$5 Billion price-tag came to be attached to the project, and the precise role Krauck/Anchor is ultimately intended to play.  This continues to be of concern as the Minister maintains his commitment to signing in the future.

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