John Myers Jr., Agriculture Coordinator
Dr. Richard Harrison, who was appointed the interim chief executive officer of the embattled Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ), is to continue in the top post.
This was disclosed by Agricul-ture and Lands Minister Roger Clarke in an interview with The Gleaner this week. Mr. Clarke said the appointment was agreed on by the newly-appointed chairman of the SCJ, Robert Levy, the board of directors and the permanent secretary in the ministry, Donovan Stanberry.
"In discussion with the chairman and our permanent secretary and other members of the board, they are of the opinion that we should give him an opportunity to go on some more because he has been doing quite a bit since he has been there," Mr. Clarke explained.
Former permanent secretary
Dr. Harrison, who is the former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, was appointed to the post in August after SCJ's CEO, Livingstone Morrison, resigned in the face of a dismal sugar crop and a worsening debt situation at the state-owned company. Initially, Mr. Clarke had said the appointment would have been until the end of this month.
However, according to the
minister, "We feel that he could fit the bill." He did not say how much longer Dr. Harrison would be allowed to continue in the post, but said "at least, we are giving him an opportunity because based on how he has been operating he seems up to the task."
Furthermore, he said the staff at the SCJ appeared to understand and respect his management style.
Allan Rickards, chairman of the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association, said yesterday he was "happy" with the decision to keep Dr. Harrison in the position. "He is not clueless about the sector, having been permanent secretary in (Ministry of) agriculture," Mr. Rickards remarked.