Jamaica’s Education Minister Forced to Resign Amid Corruption Allegations

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday March 20, 2019 – Minister of Education, Youth and Information Ruel Reid has resigned amid allegations of corruption in his ministry. He has also stepped down from the Senate.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement this morning, days after the opposition People’s National Party (PNP) called for an investigation into alleged “cronyism, nepotism, and corruption” in the Ministry.

In a brief statement, Holness said he met with Reid amid allegations in the public domain and, “in keeping with the principles of good governance”, he requested and received his resignation.

“The Minister’s resignation will ensure that any investigation into matters of concern will not be in any way impeded by his presence or oversight of the Ministry,” the Prime Minister stated.

“The Ministry of Education Youth and Information will now fall under the temporary supervision of the Office of the Prime Minister which will start its own review of the ministry and its agencies.”

Earlier this week, Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips said the PNP had received information regarding misuse of public funds and corruption at the ministry, similar to what had been uncovered in the scandal at state-owned oil refinery Petrojam.

He said the issues specifically involved the Caribbean Maritime University and how funds sent to the ministry by the HEART Trust for the Career Advancement Programme as well as the Technical, Vocational, Educational and Training (T-VET) Rationalisation Project were being utilised.

“We are aware that politically connected persons are being employed as advisors but are not doing any work,” Dr Phillips had claimed.

He said the situation was a clear case of misuse of public funds, and the allegations required further investigation by the authorities.

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