PR – The House of Representatives voted Friday in favour of the motion seeking to affirm the settlement award paid to WRB Enterprises to repurchase majority shares in the Grenada Electricity Services Limited (GRENLEC).
Under the negotiated settlement which was reached after the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ruled in favour of WRB, Government has already paid US $60 million, with another US $3 million due in two years.
Contributing to the debate on the motion, Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell provided historical insight into immense work done through the rural electrification programme between 1985 and 1990, significantly increasing the availability of electricity in many communities across the country, which meant that when WRB purchased the company, it was well poised for further development.
Dr. Mitchell described it as the worst sale undertaken by any Government of a national asset which guides the development of the country. He also questioned the decision by the then Government to rush into the sale of a monopoly national security asset just before an election.
Quoting from the Hansard, which is the official record of Parliament, Dr. Mitchell said his sentiments regarding the sale of GRENLEC then, and his sentiments today, are the same, the conditions of the sale were not in the best interest of the country.
This view was shared by all parliamentary representatives of the ruling New National Party as they contributed to Friday’s debate. They all lamented the unfortunate fact that the discussion about GRENLEC has become an NDC verses NNP debate, rather than remain a subject of national conversation as it affects all Grenadians.
There is also general optimism about the future of GRENLEC and its ability to fulfil its role as a national asset, together with the liberalization of the energy sector to bring tremendous benefits to the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
However, the parliamentary representatives also warned that persons must be reasonable in their expectations as the price of electricity will not decrease overnight; the process must be carefully managed because the company must remain viable.