On April 16th 2003 the new Chairman
of the Guyana Power and Light Mr. Ronald Alli fondly referred to as Power Ron met
the media to brief them on, quote "the steps which the board of directors are
taking to place GP&L on a sound footing and deliver an efficient and cost
effective electricity power supply to the country"
Alli also tells us "as a result of the
agreements which provide for the termination of all of the 1999 agreements to
which the government of Guyana and AC power were parties, on April 9th
Government, as the sole shareholder of GP&L, appointed a five member board
all of whom I am pleased to introduce here today"
Before I continue to the people on this
new board I want to pause and ask the question; why is GP&L still
functioning as a company?
This company was formed to accommodate
a strategic partner ESBI, this strategic partner is no longer with us, so, why
is this company still functioning? It took me 10 seconds to come up with the
answer. But I did not like the answer, so I consulted a few friends, after I
explained the problem to them we are all agreed, there is no reason whatsoever
to keep Power and Light as a functioning entity apart from keeping it out of
the preview of the public Utilities Commission. The Public Utilities Commission
is an arm of the state to protect consumers from exploitation by public utilities
especially those which are monopolies, so this new company which I am calling
GP&L episode 2, does not want itself to be regulated by the PUC to benefit
of the Guyanese consumer, it wants to continue setting its own rates.
So Alli's first statement as the new Chairman
of the company is not true since he says that the company's new objective is to
quote "deliver an efficient and cost effective electricity supply to the
This government has no problem passing
retroactive legislation, they are doing it even as I am reading this commentary
to you, clueless Kow is seeking to change our tax laws retroactively this is
incidentally an occupation I find obscene. Why not rescind the regulations
setting up GP&L in its entirety and let the PUC regulate our power rates. I
believe that the TUC has already smelled the rat.
Now let us look at this board, the first
there is the Chariman who will be Power Ron himself, now he was the chairman of
GEC after Gaskin left it for around three years, until it collapsed prompting
Sam Hinds to bring in a strategic partner to prop it up. Why put him as
chairman again? He failed as chairman between 1996-1999, he failed as a
director of the GP&L Board 1999-2003, inevitably he will fail again.
I do not know enough about Mr. Errol
Chung to form an opinion; Mr. Narvon Persaud knows his stuff as technical
services manager of GUYSUCO.
Mr. Carvil Duncan's appointment is
shrouded in some controversy, the GP&L board tells us that he is there in
his capacity as President of the Guyana Trades Union Congress, but the TUC
tells us that he is there as Mr. Carvil Duncan esq. this needs clarification.
On this board will also be the ever
present Mr. Winston Brassington, now Brass is the executive head of our
privatisation unit, he negotiates with the entities who want to invest private
money in government's enterprises and I have never been comfortable with this
dichotomous position. How can anyone who is head of the Privatisation unit,
negotiate with any investor impartially having the full knowledge
that he will ultimately end up on the board of directors of the new company
that is to be formed? how can anyone not be in a conflict of interest
position doing this nonsense? Brassington should never be on any board that
evolved from the process of privatisation. Additionally his presence on Boards
seems to doom the entities to complete failure, GAC and now GPL. Here he is
again on the board of GPL episode 2.
Now we come to the parts that caused the
vexatious issues in the first place, Alli tells us Quote "it would be useful
for me to explain that the GPL license allows for the adjustment of kilowatt
hours charged on the tariff rate to account for the cost of fuel. In fact the
base rate could be increased or decreased depending on the actual cost of fuel
in the previous quarter. This is described as a fuel surcharge or fuel rebate
as the case may be" end quote
Is anyone aware that any bill we
have ever received from GP&L gave us a rebate? I am not aware of it
and neither is anyone else.
Mr. Alli cannot have his cake and eat it
too and neither can Sam Hinds, if Power & Light still exists then they must
pay us the 1.3 Billion dollars the PUC said they owe us for damages, if the
GP&L is scrapped then clearly the debt should be scrapped also. That is
fair isn't it? so why are we letting these people have their cake and eat it
too? If we cannot address the contentious issue of the utility setting its own
rates and since they are maintaining the company as GP&L despite the
disappearance of the strategic partner, for the sole purpose of using the
regulations setting up GP&L to circumvent the PSU, then how come they do
not have to pay us the 1.3 Billion dollars? Of course they do ladies and
gentlemen, of course they do.
The business sector and the private home
owner are already reeling under the burden of the cost of electricity, but
Power Ron tells us that if the ESBI's plan was not upset by Rambo
Gaskin, we would have already been paying 32% higher rates. Well, Power Ron it
is not an indictment against Rambo it is an acclaim, I am
thinking of asking the Guyanese people to put a statue of Rambo next to Cuffy's
since he is fighting a lone battle to free us from subjugation by this
Power Ron then lists the benefits this
new entity will give us, the second benefit he proudly tells us will be a
saving of 60% of the management fee we were paying to AC Power/ESBI.
Ladies and gentlemen we were paying ESBI
3.6 million US dollars a year in management fees, 40% of that amount is 1.5
Million US dollars a year about G$300 million, this three hundred
million will be used to pay qualified persons to occupy 4 positions
Chief executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer and
Chief Commercials Officer. That is an average of 75 million Guyana dollars to each of these Officers
per year. Is power Ron serious. These people will be getting 15 times more then
our Chancellor the highest paid Public servant in the land. We can hire 1000
police officers or 1000 teachers for this amount of money. The first decision
this board makes is complete foolishness ladies and gentlemen, what's next?
I would also like to know if the
directors of this GP&L episode 2 will get 1000 US dollars for every
meeting they attend.
The most hilarious part of this entire
release by Power Ron to the media, is his appeal for the Guyanese to stop stealing
electricity, well Ron when certain ministers stop stealing only then will you
have the right to ask the Guyanese people to stop. In the mean time if you are
supplying an absolute necessity which is too expensive for our citizens and
they cannot afford to buy it, they will inevitably steal it.
Ladies and gentlemen this concept is so
self evident to me that I am astonished that it has not registered with these
morons as yet.