I welcome the return of SHELL

I welcome the return of SHELL
Photo : Malcolm Jones

If there is truth in the rumour that Shell is buying the refinery at Pointe a Pierre, then I heartily welcome such a move. The reality is that citizens don’t have the competence and capacity to run a coconut oil refinery, much more a petroleum refinery; and more so to find markets for the products in a competitive global environment.

What businesses we can point to that our locals manage that can give us the confidence that they can truly make a success of the refinery? Who are the engineers, accountants and managers that we can hold up with pride to our youths asking them to follow in their footsteps? Andre Jupiter! Ken Julian! Malcom Jones! Colm Ibert!

Mittal had to leave because the Minister of Labour refused to meet with management to review its energy arrangement with T&TEC. ISCOTT (Iron and Steel Company of Trinidad and Tobago) was a colossal failure losing $1m per day before the arrival of ISPATT (Mital). That history must never be forgotten! With other nations opened to business Mittal closed shop, packed its bags and left much to the astonishment of many. There were several countries that made adjustments and Mittal continued its operation despite the global fall in the price of steel. Other countries provided incentives to attract Mittal. However, here in T&T our government reasoned that Mittal can go to hell!

The truth is T&T cannot manage anything. This reality we must be able to face as a people before we can confront it and make adjustments. We cannot even run Pan Trinbago. Pan Trinbago is given millions to stage an annual Panorama and even in that they fail to do successfully. Carnival which gets millions from the treasury every year also fails to return a profit despite the boast that it is the “greatest show on earth and the largest street party with thousands of tourist arrivals.” These are dreams and fantasies, nothing more!

Parliament is a mockery in this country. Speaker of the House, Bridgette Annisette-George is the biggest threat to our democracy.  She insults the Opposition members whenever they open their mouths. She has a colonial principal mind-set with sinister motives, that is, to protect the unfettered abuse of power by the ruling PNM. Ms BrIdgid- Annisette George should be reported before the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) for her bias by constantly stymying the contributions of the members of the Opposition. Her action breaches the fundamental principle of the CPA which is “to identify benchmarks of good governance and to implement the enduring values of the Commonwealth.”

The media houses have also compromised their integrity.” I believe without media, democracy is deaf and mute,” wrote Shaifali Gupta. The reporters, columnists and editors of these media houses protect the PNM. However, in the long term such policies have undermined and compromised the democracy and is now manifesting in the Petrotrin fiasco. Too many wrongs committed against the people are never reported. For example, the concept that Ken Julian is a genius of sort and above reproach should be challenged by the media. Unfortunately, too many propaganda and half-truths and innuendos remain unchallenged.  Journalists and columnists generally have little regard for truth and integrity.

The closure of the Petrotrin refinery was on the making. In addition to the bungling by Malcom Jones, Petrotrin was a sanctuary for political employment with lucrative salaries and perks. Everyone, including the union and the workers, was eating and enjoying while the top brass managers invested billions of dollars with no sight of returns.

I sincerely believe that an applicant would have a better chance of getting a job in Shell than in the previous arrangement. Ethnicity and political loyalty have resulted in the stacking of the refinery not with the best employees and managers. Certainly, such practise would not be implemented within SHELL and I welcome that.

SHELL like BPTT would be left to appoint an Afro-centric PR Officer who can pamper some citizens with hampers, sponsorship of a steel band and a five-a –side football tournament which would win accolades among the people of the East West corridors. The PRO would have to pretend that Indian culture does not exist in this country. Tassa , chutney and Ramleela must be ignored totally. That is the manner in which billion-dollar state enterprises are run in this land. And this would be all the East West corridor would expect from this great SHELL enterprise. Once again I welcome SHELL!