Opinion: Connected and interdependent (global oil price down, GEBE no change)

POSTED: 01/22/15 11:17 PM

This community is wrought with issues that need addressing in a no-nonsense manner to truly give relief to our people and stop the continuous slide of large parts of the society to the sub-poverty line. This government has got to come to grips with a crazy and ill-advised adherence to a policy adapted from the Dutch that simply makes no sense and if it makes no sense it can’t be right. I am of course referring to the so-called arm’s length policy with government-owned companies or NVs.

As we have seen during the many investigations the very same Dutch putting pressure on the local government to get the NVs to release to them more financial and policy information. This is basically saying it is ok to interfere when I say so. It is not democratic or even reasonable to be politically responsible for these companies but they become little countries unto their own. I would like to revisit the Gebe-answer to the continued call for relief. They have written that the prices can’t just go down when crude oil prices drop because according to Gebe transport costs don’t change. They claim because they buy from SOL who they say is not affected by the worldwide drop in fuel prices and apparently the Caribbean post as they put it sets it prices independent of the world prices. While I am very pleased that they at least attempted to answer and inform the people their reply is disingenuous and lends great spin to the truth.

The good search site Google claims that crude prices are down some 49% and are expected to continue along that trend. Strange enough when crude prices go up on the international market our beloved Gebe doesn’t hesitate to raise their prices immediately. I recall just over a year ago how Gebe printed with much pride the profit they made and the reserves they have. This may be an indication of their great business savvy or just their insensitivity to the needs of the consumer who by the way is also the owner.

Something must be done and I call on the shareholder rep to go to Parliament and explain what is going on. While I do appreciate MPs going on radio programs and making statements – that is not what we need. You have a forum – use it bring these good ladies and gentlemen to Parliament and have them explain it to the people. If you look at the Saturday edition of the newspaper you would have seen our neighbor Anguilla has dropped their fuel clause and if I am not mistaken they too buy their oil products from the same supplier. Also ask the good supervisory board of directors to explain the difference in price of heavy fuel and light fuel and why we use the most expensive one at the production plant. This can be confirmed from my sources within.

It is high time we or somebody truly stand up for the people. As a friend of mine put it if Mr. Brooks was still there would be shouts for his ouster let’s see equal treatment if we can’t get relief as requested through various motions. Let’s remind these companies of our reasons for them being called to life.

Elton Jones

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