I would like to draw your attention to the shortage of fuel for the past three weeks on the Essequibo Coast. Petrol station dealers are engaged in fixing high prices and have admitted that Guyoil, a state-owned entity is not playing a crucial role in supplying the region with enough fuel to help keep fuel prices down.
The hire car association and vehicle owners have passed a resolution calling on the government to reintroduce price controls. The cost of the illegal fuel coming from Venezuela has been unacceptably high for vehicle owners here, while the high fares that commuters and workers have to pay is a huge problem.
The shortage of fuel has been using up too many of our scarce resources. The government should take a dispassionate look at this issue and make sure that this vital region has enough supplies of fuel. The indications are that the economy of this region is slowing down as a result of fuel shortages, as we are faced every day with price increases.
The question is what does the government intend to do long term about the oil situation? It is evident that it faces tremendous challenges ahead, and it is clear that if it is to succeed in holding on to this region, it must improve the performance of the regional administration. In this regard it will need skilled managers and dedicated and honest administrators, and it will have to seek closer co-operation with all stakeholders.
We hear over and over that the region is becoming more interdependent. Much talk has been going on about how to tackle the fuel shortages over the years but we still have many barriers to progress. Petrol station dealers are becoming united in their business efforts, and they do not allow differences to affect their profits. Guyoil offers a crummy service in this region. The kind of status quo thinking embodied in Guyoil is a surefire recipe for the market-share erosion which affects companies that choose to fight change.