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BNTCL sale comes at a loss, warns Duguid

Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Christ Church West candidate Dr William Duguid today called on Government to come clean on the sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Limited (BNTCL), while accusing it of selling the country short.

Back in 2011, Parliament had approved a resolution for BNTCL “to construct new terminal facilities and to expand and upgrade the distribution and management systems of the company”.

That project was to be financed by way of a loan and bond issue to BNTCL from the Barbados National Bank Inc and BNB Finance and Trust Corporation to the tune of BDS$120 million and on the terms set out in the schedule.

Based on the size of that loan, Dr Duguid argued that anything less than $120 million for the sale of BNTCL was unacceptable.

However, based on the recent Estimates of Revenue of Expenditure presented by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler he noted that Government was currently projecting earning of between $75 million to $100 million from the sale of the statutory corporation.

Complaining that the entire BNTCL deal was shrouded in way too much secrecy, Dr Duguid contended that if the figure given in the recent Estimates was correct, then the country as a whole stood to lose out from the sale of the asset.

“So if now the Democratic Labour Party administration has opted to sell a significant asset that belongs to the people of Barbados for essentially half price, I think the people of Barbados have a right to know exactly what that deal was about, how that deal was structured, what is happening to the debt and what is the benefit to the people of Barbados of selling an asset at half the price that it cost the people of Barbados,” argued Dr Duguid, who was recently nominated to carry the BLP banner in the southern riding.

“So I am very concerned. These deals cannot be shrouded in secrecy. When the Government negotiated the loan it was done in Parliament in full view of everybody. When the contract was done it was in full view of everybody. It cannot be that the Government of the day decide to sell an asset in secrecy, and does not give us the details of the sale. This is absolutely not good enough,” he insisted.

Sinckler, who revealed last Thursday night that Government was now “waiting on a cheque” to finalize the sale of the statutory corporation, was reluctant to provide any further details on the transaction.

However, Dr Duguid said, “We need to know what the structure of the debt was. It cannot be done in secrecy . . . Unless the person is taking over the debt, which then means the total value of the sale is the cost of the debt plus the cost of the equity. But in any event it cannot be done in secrecy and we have to be very concerned about it”. (MM)

6 Responses to Undervalued

  1. BaJan boy April 19, 2016 at 5:42 am

    Shinckler, Inniss,Stuart,Lashley and Denis Lowe particularly think Barbados belong to them and they can treat bajans how they please.

  2. Sherlock Holmes. April 19, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Here we go again with good ole Bajan Boy, never a dull moment.

  3. chris hill April 19, 2016 at 8:01 am

    i remember very well the DLP speaking of transparency, accountability and being stewards of the people. all of these have been thrown to the garbage heap. now just like sandals and Cahill there just is none. do they actually think we as citizens should not know of all the details. that we are low and cannot understand the details of business. all of these deals are done in desperation to secure some money because the government is essentially broke. now dont you think that with the QEH and other gov entities taking such big cuts in the recent estimates that the money from these sales should go to sure up some ministries that have been cut. how about the 30 plus million that was collected of the fuel cess be distributed by now. at least now with the fuel prices in private hands that our price at the pump will be equal with the international pump prices. secondly is a monopoly on fuel good for the people of our fair island home.

  4. Tony Webster April 19, 2016 at 8:57 am

    @Chris a Hill: This government will definitely go down in the annals ( yes, annals) of the history of Barbados. Yes, down. Even if every citizen above the age of sixteen ( yes, sixteen, “anything goes” from here on in) somehow receives five Grantleys mysteriously ( (yes, five), and if His Excellency proclaims the New Republic…both one month before the next polling-day.

    And please allow me to correct the statement that the government is brokes: the truth is we just are temporarily short of cash flow. And water. And Truth and Reality are casuailities of a citizenry who are too busy daily making ends meet, to see the enormity which has gradually, stealthy, surrounded us, and has become the New Normal.

    The bait is plainly now on the hook; you just have to now bite it. On the other hand, you could shake yourself awake; switch-on brain; and do whatever is in the long-term best interests of the nation- and your children.

    For their sake, switch-on brain, today.

  5. dave April 19, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    The people of Barbados just waiting on this DLP government- just waiting .

    But Freundella do not care , nor the other accomplices do not care. They have their pension covered -! nearly 200 hundred thousand dollars per annum for Freundella but just like Dimla in Brasila ; Portia in Jamaica and Kamla in Trinidada and Tobaga , Freundella will be kicked out of Office -but he aint care !!!

    • Carson C Cadogan April 20, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      That is a matter of opinion.


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