Prime Minister Andrew Holness has defended his administration's decision to take over Venezuela's 49 per cent stake in Petrojam.
Mr. Holness said the oil refinery, in its current state, is a fiscal risk to the government.
He said when the decision was made by the previous government to diversify the country's fuel mix to include Liquified Natural Gas, the impact, including Petrojam losing a significant portion of its customers, was not considered.
Mr. Holness said as a result, the operations of Petrojam could become a burden for the Government and, by extension, taxpayers.
"So, I am not running a government that is under sea, not knowing what is coming in the future - as we have had government's do in the past - and then we happen up on situations. And those who are being critical of the government now should explain why it is we are happening up on situations that are creating fiscal risks for the government," he contended.
He was adamant that protecting the interest of Jamaica is of paramount importance.
"This government is giving the people of Jamaica the commitment that we will not just manage the situations that exist now, but we are managing the situations to come; and you can rest assured that the government I lead will always make decisions in the interest of the Jamaican people first," he insisted.
He was speaking at Wednesday's official opening of the Montego Bay Free Zone Company's Data Entry Building Number 7.