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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » IN SPITE OF AN INCREASED BUDGET – FESTIVAL SONG WINNER ABBYGAYE DALLAS, IS STILL WAITING TO GET HER PRIZES FROM THE JAMAICA CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION!

IN SPITE OF AN INCREASED BUDGET – FESTIVAL SONG WINNER ABBYGAYE DALLAS, IS STILL WAITING TO GET HER PRIZES FROM THE JAMAICA CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION!

BY BALFORD HENRY—-

ALMOST five months after she won the 2012 Festival Song competition with Real Born Jamaican, singer Abbygaye ‘Abby’ Dallas is still waiting on her prize money and 2012 Nissan Versa car.

Yesterday, a dejected Dallas said she has been promised for months that the bill would be settled, but nothing has changed.

Abbygaye Dallas (centre) receives the keys to a Nissan Versa motor car from Leslie Nembhard (left), sales manager for Fidelity Motors Limited, while being presented with her trophy from Lisa Hanna, minister of Youth and Culture, at National Arena on Saturday, July 7.

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“I am still waiting on them,” she told Splash.

Dallas is among a number of Jamaica Festival 2012 winners who have not yet received their prizes. A situation Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Executive Director Delroy Gordon attributes to cash-flow problems.

But Dallas felt that, at least, by now she should have received the vehicle, which was donated by local Nissan agent, Fidelity Motors.

“She should have gotten the vehicle by now. I hope she will get it soon,” David Crawford, Fidelity’s sales manager, said yesterday.

Crawford said the vehicle has been turned over to the JCDC, whose job is to complete the process, including obtaining a government waiver for duty-free importation.

Gordon admitted that the vehicle is with the JCDC, but says that it is still awaiting completion of paperwork with the Trade Board for duty-free concession, as well as the transfer of the title through the tax department.

“You will appreciate it is not something we could do pre-emptively and we had to await the vehicle before we could do the paperwork,” he explained.

However, he was unable to say how soon the singer would get her car. Gordon also could not explain why the winners were still awaiting their cheques, other than a cash squeeze from the Ministry of Youth and Culture’s end, although there was a huge financial boost in the JCDC’s budget this year.

Approximately $300 million of some $690 million budgeted in the 2012/13 estimates for the Jamaica 50 celebrations were assigned to the JCDC under the Ministry of Youth and Culture’s capital budget, for the promotion of arts and culture. The JCDC said it would spend $50 million to assist meeting expenses for the annual Independence celebrations, and $62 million for the development of regular cultural programmes.

Asked to comment on the cash squeeze with the huge budget boost, Gordon refused to comment.

He referred Splash to the Ministry of Youth and Culture where Permanent Secretary Robert Martin was in office, but he also refused to talk.

“Mr Martin said he is not allowed to speak to the press without the approval of the minister,” his secretary told Splash yesterday.

 

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