After a lapse of 4 days, two releases from WRB Enterprises and widespread condemnation on Government’s handling of the matter, Government has only just broken its silence on what WRB Enterprises has confirmed. Government has re-purchased the shares sold to WRB in 1994, for US$63,000,000 (EC$170,100,000).
This event has happened only as a result of a reckless enterprise pursued by Keith Mitchell and Gregory Bowen, fuelled by a personal vendetta. Nothing more.
The fact that WRB/GPP was able to communicate with the Grenlec workers and the people twice, before Government commented once, underscores the utter contempt with which this Government holds the Grenadian people. The reason advanced for the deafening silence is as insincere as it is unbelievable. If both parties signed a confidentiality agreement, how come then, WRB communicated with the people and Government could not?
As usual, the statement issued today is riddled with untruths, political spin and mischief. The National Democratic Congress says it is time for Government to stop the deceit, the mischief and the attempts to cast blame on others for a reckless enterprise that Bowen and Mitchell pursued for 26 years.
The shares have now been re-purchased and are back into Government’s hands as trustees for the people. Keith Mitchell’s and Gregory Bowen’s record when they are in control of Grenlec is terrible, as is well documented in the Worrel Commission report. Added to that, it is now internationally accepted that such companies are not managed and run at optimum when under state control.
NDC therefore makes clear its expectations on what must happen going forward, and in the shortest possible time:
- There must be full transparency and accounting to the public on the events leading up to this re-purchase. Specifically, Government must show respect for the law and our democratic institutions by giving a full account, through the Parliament, of the source of the funds used to re-purchase the shares.
- Government must disclose any agreement reached with third parties in the course of raising the funds and if any state asset was disposed of in the process.
- WRB/GPP have expressed confidence in the existing Grenlec staff to take the company to the next level. Government must ensure that no employee of Grenlec loses his or her job or suffer reduction in wages and other benefits.
- Social outreach and community development programmes sponsored by Grenlec should continue uninterrupted.
- Government must say, how it intends to deal with the shares it now has in hand. Particularly, what percentage it intends to sell, what percentage it intends to keep and what percentage will be made available to the Grenadian public to buy as an investment.
- In keeping with the above stated view on state ownership of such entities, NDC does not expect Government to increase its shareholding in Grenlec.
- The majority of shares must be preserved for purchase by Grenadians at home and in the diaspora and Government must work with local financial institutions to ensure that loans are made available to young Grenadians to buy shares.
- Government must be specific on the avenues it will pursue to secure increased reliance on renewable energy sources. We trust that Government will not dismantle the programme already in existence whereby private persons with solar panels are able to generate their electricity and sell the excess to Grenlec.
The benefits of the 1994 Public/Private partnership by which Government divested 50% of the shares are undeniable. The company moved from being bankrupt under Gregory Bowen’s management to being one of the best run utility companies in the Caribbean, experiencing consistent profitability and an increase in value of the shares. Grenlec has moved the nation from constant power outages to a reliable supply of energy that has got us consistent high scores on the ease of doing business energy index. Grenlec has in the last 26 years produced and trained a cadre of highly skilled and competent workers in the energy sector.
The NDC looks forward to the Government of Grenada acting in the best interest of all of the people of Grenada in treating with this matter.
Does Nyone know how or where to buy shares?
I am no partisan. NDC made the worst deal in the history of Grenada back 1994. Joan Purcell and others ignored all the good advice that were given at the time. The article show lack of confidence in your people to take over and run Grenlec.
Are you insane? Did you experience how badly Grenlec was run when government controlled it. Did you? Obviously you have no clue how bad it can get. “Confidence in your people”? An extremely ignorant (as in not knowing better) statement to make.
no damn clue – you have the right handle.
what you have said in an indictment on this failure of an NNP. you are saying that you know for a fact that GRENLEC will not be profitable – as expected because look at the NNPs previous track record.
if you thought they could run GRENLEC then the investment in shares is a logical long term decision – twiddle dumbest!
Grenadians wake up and act – time to vote OUT this NNP administration….
We cannot vote them out when there’s no other to vote in.
“…to ensure that loans are made available to young Grenadians to buy shares.”
This is an incredibly foolish financial strategy.
Why is that incredibly foolish?
Grenlec dividends equate to about 5% interest at present, of course once twiddle dum and twiddle dee get their sticky hands on the company
I expect things to change for the worse.
This people, is the kind of things that happen when you have a monopoly in Government and no opposition. This is what’s expected when you have a “Clean Sweep at the polls”
This is where we will see who the government cares about …Themselves or their citizens as we expect at least one or two incentives from the government on the form or lower electricity prices and an opportunity for Grenadians to purchase shares within the company.