Lovell promises to dissolve NAMCO and audit National Housing Scheme if his government is elected

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Among the promises made by the United Progressive Party (UPP) leader, Harold Lovell on Thursday night, was one to dissolve the National Asset Management Corporation (NAMCO) which is used by the current government to enter into and manage public/private businesses on behalf of citizens.

“The UPP will suspend, audit, then dissolve NAMCO and pursue a more relevant private sector-led development strategy,” he remarked.

As a result, he plans to “empower Antiguans and Barbudans” by selling them the shares owned by NAMCO.

“Any funds currently held in NAMCO, will be transferred to the consolidated fund,” he added.

With regards to NAMCO and its involvement in the Jolly Beach acquisition, Lovell called on government officials to present the signed agreement with Elite Group to allow the people to see what level of concessions their tax monies are being used to support.

“We’ve heard Minister Fernandez saying that the lender engaged in what he called ‘tough negotiations,’ well, how did we the tax payers fare in those ‘tough negotiations’?” he questioned.

Lovell made the announcement during an address to the nation on Thursday night, where he also promised to audit and reorganise the National Housing Scheme.

Lovell said plans to reorganise the National Housing Scheme will stop the waste of money within the department and allow a UPP government to build affordable, high-quality homes.

“By the prime minister’s own admission, we the tax payers, we’re subsidising every house that National Housing builds to the tune of $100,000 to $150,000.”

“The UPP government will conduct a full audit and end the waste and inefficiency at the current National Housing Scheme by creating a transparent and accountable new housing entity, by merging CHAPA and the present National Housing Corporation,” he explained further.

According to Lovell, his government will also move to streamline the housing application process to ensure quick, fair and equitable access to all.

In the 35-minute address, the UPP leader also spoke of removing Customs duties on essential foods; reducing the fuel variation charge; empowering private businesses and entrepreneurs; diversifying the economy through the introduction of new sections; and establishing a tourism linkage network. 

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