Govt Inks US$248m IDB Loan for NIDS

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The Government has signed off on a USD$248-million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB.

The loan is to support three key initiatives. An amount of USD$160-million has been earmarked for Public Sector Transformation. Sixty-eight million US is to be allocated to the National Identification System, NIDS. The remaining $20-million is designated to boost technology for national security.

Finance Minister Audley Shaw, and IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno, signed the agreement yesterday at the Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. The signing coincided with the seventh annual IDB Caribbean Governors’ Conference.

Mr. Shaw says the public-sector transformation programme is very important to the administration’s push for efficiency in government. He notes that 84 state entities are being targeted for closure, divestment, mergers or incorporation back into Central Government over the next three years.

And, Prime Minister Andrew Holness also addressed the IDB loan signing ceremony. He says the loan, and in particular, the NIDS programme is part of a general push to digitize Jamaica’s economy.

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Abka Fitz-Henley is a multiple award-winning journalist who is currently the Senior Reporter at Nationwide News Network (NNN). His primary areas of focus are Court, Crime and Parliamentary proceedings. Fitz-Henley was recently recognized in the regional celebrity magazine publication Panache as “The Breaking News Boss”. At 21 years of age, following his 1st year in media, Fitz-Henley was recognized with the Young Journalist of the year award from The Press Association of Jamaica and went on to cop one of the country’s highest recognized journalism prizes, the Journalist of the Year Award. He’s also been awarded the prestigious Corporate Jamaica Broilers Fairplay 1st place Award for investigative journalism and is the recipient of the Caribbean Blog Award for coverage of the infamous Kartel murder trial. Fitz-Henley is also the recipient of the PM Youth Award for Excellence. Over the years, he has appeared as a guest on the BBC World Service and BBC London.