Once upon a time Barbadians held Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) in high regard. The country never experienced outages with the frequency of recent years. Last week the country experienced another countrywide outage which seems to be a ‘BL&P error’ although predictably the monopoly was vague in its explanation of what triggered the nationwide outage.
One does not have to be an electrical engineer to conclude that the BL&P has a power quality challenge. To be clear – the definition of power quality equates to RELIABILITY. The leadership of the growing monkey population is fed up with having to deflect blame every time there is a problem with the power grid.
What is the problem with BL&P being able to deliver on power quality?
Does the current state of play represent a failing of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC)?
The FTC is empowered under the law to protect consumers and equitably regulate utility companies in Barbados. Again one must conclude that the FTC has ‘lost the plot’.
It was embarrassing to listen to Prime Minister Mottley during the recent budget presentation venting frustration at the BL&P and FTC. The inability of the FTC and BL&P to efficiently dispatch the current rate increase request is analogous to the moribund state of the local judiciary. Given the dire economic circumstances Barbados continues to battle should demand a sense of urgency from stakeholders in the process to dissolve and resolve issues. The blogmaster is not naive to be unaware of the ‘game’ being played by EMERA, Canadian parent of BL&P. EMERA is a best in class energy company which should make reliability of the local grid a non issue.
There are multiple blogs posted how one of our best companies – a strategic asset – was ‘divested’ to EMERA. Who has forgotten the passive position taken by the National Insurance Board in the matter, a 23% shareholder at the time. To quote Opposition spokesman Clyde Mascoll in 2011.
The consequences of selling the NIS shares are not the same as selling the shares of the Barbados National Bank,…BL&P is a monopoly which is profitable and is guaranteed to be profitable for several years to come…The most important consideration is that the NIS needs to have long-term investments to help finance its long-term obligations (pensions and benefits). Investment…There is no benefit in selling shares with impressive high rates of return to have to search for alternative investments; there is hardly a better investment in town.
If Caribbean governments were not adept at being inept the blogmaster would have recommended the N word back then.