Oil stink

Comissiong questions sale of BNTCL

There is no rationale for Government’s decision to sell off the family silver – the Barbados National Oil Terminal Company Limited (BNTCL), said leader of the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) David Comissiong.

The attorney-at-law argued that the oil company was one of the most profitable state-owned corporations and should not be placed in the hands of the private sector.

In a statement last week, BNTCL’s parent company the Barbados National Oil Company Ltd (BNOCL) revealed it had signed an agreement with the Sol Group for the sale.

Officials are yet to disclose the details of the deal, including the price and terms, neither have they submitted the relevant documentation to the Fair Trading Commission for its approval.

Up to a year ago the oil company was valued at more than $70 million, although Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler had said in his Estimates presentation in 2015 that Government had projected earnings of $75 million to $100 million.

However, recent investigations by Barbados TODAY revealed that Government could take in as little as $60 million from the agreement.

What is more, the BNTCL was profitable and has been contributing approximately $60 million each year to Government’s purse.

Comissiong, who said he was still researching the deal, would not comment on the earnings or valuation, but said he was certain the BNTCL was one of the most profitable state entities, and it made no sense selling it to the private sector.

“Why would the Government of Barbados want to divest itself of its only oil terminal? Why would it want to divest itself of a state enterprise that is extremely profitable? Why would it want to divest itself of an enterprise that, particularly if there is a finding of oil fields offshore Barbados that this enterprise is going to be critical as a conduit for any oil that is discovered in Barbados’ territorial waters? None of this makes any sense,” Comissiong emphasized.

“There is no proper rationale for our Government selling off this outstanding piece of the family silver, the people’s asset. This is one of the most prized people’s assets, one of the most prized assets that we, the citizens and people of Barbados possess and this Government is telling us that they are selling it, an asset that brings tremendous revenue into government coffers. Something is wrong here. Something does not smell right and I am very concerned about it.”

The vocal social activist said now was the time for Barbadians to speak out against the deal, charging for much too long the population allowed Governments to get away with decisions and actions that were not in people’s best interest.

“We should be demanding that we be given a proper explanation, a proper rationale for this action. This is not good enough. The Barbadian people, our people are too complacent. We tend too much to sit down and take what is dished out to us by successive Governments often to our great detriment, and we must put an end to that. The time has come when citizens must speak up, they must challenge Governments, they must insist on being given information, they must demand explanation and I think this is certainly one of those times,” Comissiong said.

While the Kyffin Simpson-led Sol Group is yet to comment on the planned deal, the main competitor, Rubis Caribbean, has voiced strong objection to it.

Chief Executive Officer Mauricio Nicholls warned in a statement last week the sale would hurt his company’s business and affect domestic fuel prices.

BNOCL said under the agreement it would continue to source, import, own and distribute gasoline, diesel and fuel oil to the local market.

12 Responses to Oil stink

  1. Alex Alleyne January 20, 2017 at 4:37 am

    BNTCL , the “cookie-jar”. One player in it deep to the arm-pit.
    Barbados National Bank , gone, now BNTCL gone too.
    T&T got the bank and now trying for the OIL too.
    Soon it will be TT&B.
    SOL vs RUBIS.

  2. Jennifer January 20, 2017 at 5:17 am

    The main problem is that the government is not being honest about the state of the economy so there is no clear understanding why they are making such decisions.

    This puts me in the mind of when the slaves were so called freed and was given some land to sustain them and their families. These —– people sold the land back to massah in most cases for pittance and then continues to work for him eating the crumbs from under his table. This is clearly a repeat of the same thing. One of our biggest money earners and you sell it to massah yet again for pittance to then be subjected to their penalties and eat crumbs.

    Clearly you can see that these EDUCATED PHARAOHS AND COONS still have the SERVITUDE mentality and not one of a MASTER.

  3. hcalndre January 20, 2017 at 6:38 am

    Jennifer, Black babadians are the only african decendants today that have not shaken the shackles of the slave mentality, take a good look at the behavior of the ones in particular that have reached certain positions and tell me if that massa/slave behavior is still alive and well. The PM is still uses quotes from the medieval times so what is that telling you.

  4. Jennifer January 20, 2017 at 7:09 am

    @hcaindre – well said.
    Like Malcom x said, they give them some of THEIR education, dress them up in THEIR clothes, and then use them to downtrodden the rest at the bottom.

  5. Alex Alleyne January 20, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Next will be the AIR PORT then the SEA PORT. Barbados is in such dire state that this or the next Government will be forced to lease out the 2 main ports for 100 years because it’s going to take that long before Barbados get back on it’s feet again. RUIN by a bunch who came at a time when the world hit a tough time and they did not have a clue of what to do in handling the situation.

  6. James January 20, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Ignorance abounds truly. Please name 3 Caribbean countries that are in sound economic order. Unless you are prepared to lay the blame of the current state of Caribbean economies on our government you should just stop making rubbish comments. The entire Caribbean has been on an unsustainable path (arguably for just reason) for the last 30 years at least. We need to come to terms with what transformation is necessary as a society and stop making petty political cheap shots. Keep it up and let’s see how much further we will get.

  7. sam Clarke January 20, 2017 at 11:45 am


  8. Bill January 20, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    The main error made by the Government in approaching the sale of the oil company is that a major number of the shares should have been offered to the general public and local businesses . I suspect that most of those shares would not have been taken up. I can hear those opposed to the Government discouraging the public taking up the shares! Then the outcry could not be as it is.

  9. Walter Prescod January 20, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    When i look at Barbados today it makes me sad,
    it has become like the WICB. Malcon x words are evident

  10. Mikey January 20, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    What did Errol Barrow say ???
    If we are not careful (prudent) we will wake up one morning and find that Barbados does not belong to Barbadians !!!
    Make way for Trinidadians, Brazilians, Hollanders, Mexicans and Whoever else wants to come . Call it FOREIGN INVESTMENT .


  11. Troy January 20, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    I agree with you Mr. Commisong. Something doesn’t quite add up. And all these politicians do is pull wool over the people’s eyes and get fat off our labour. It’s time these politricksters be hauled before the court and give an account of the millions they squander yearly. I hope that we barbadians stop being so passive and make more demand more of the people that we put to lead this country. In 2018 make your X count

  12. Samuel D February 1, 2017 at 12:28 am

    I find it amazing that once view as one of the highest IQ pieces of land on the earth is now reduced to this. Many Barbadians have not been thing for themselves; have not been thoughtful in their decision making and are slowly becoming like sheep/followers. It was obvious that the island was having issues before the last election, the average person could feel. Yet, they ignored their reality to list to the Dee’s tell them that all was rosy. Both parties are at fault here. When times were great, the Bees should have been putting money away. The good times never last forever, look at your life, it’s filled with ups and downs. Respect people who tell you the truth, good bad or indifferent, because it is those people who acknowledge the state of the country and will work to make the correct decisions.


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