BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE uncertainty surrounding the financial state of the St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC) is not sitting well with former opposition member of Parliament and St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) Candidate for Constituency Three, Konris Maynard.
A shock announcement was recently made in a Post Cabinet release, which revealed that the electricity company is seeking a subvention bailout from the Government as it is cash strapped.
A leaked document making rounds on social media points to more than EC$20 million being owed to the company for many months by statutory agencies, including the St. Christoper Air and Seaports Authority.
In the subvention proposal sent to the Government, SKELEC officials asked for the authorities to make a determination and provide a final decision on what is the state of the company’s tax identity.
The company has been plagued by tariff challenges, rising fuel cost and non-payment of infrastructure cost, among other issues.
Maynard has highlighted the challenges the ordinary man is facing when it comes to electricity being provided. He explained that one of his constituents had her power cut, since she was unable to pay her bill because of being unemployed.
“I was in St. Johnson Village, I think was last week, and a young lady was out on her step sitting. And she said the only reason you catch me outside here is because me ain’t got no electricity inside you know. I don’t have no electricity inside. Konris, I ain’t wok since March of 2020. Ah can’t afford to pay the current and pay for food. And then you hear that there are corporations that owe $20 million to SKELEC. In the heart of a pandemic, where do you find the heart to cut off electricity when it is evident that they can’t find any work? It is hard!” he said.
The topic is likely to become one of the talking points during the campaign trail ahead of the elections. And Maynard usedSunday (May 22) evening’s rally in Keys Village to outline and pledge his party’s plan for energy when it comes to providing affordable electricity to the nation.
“And it is not isolated to that young lady. All across the constituency and across the nation. Well, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party gives the commitment - first of all that we will always have a heart when it comes to the people. We will always seek your interest first, and we will find a way to make it work,” added the SKNLP Deputy Leader.
Maynard reiterated his party’s commitment to revolutionise energy distribution within St. Kitts and Nevis.
“,,,And make St. Kitts and Nevis the first green energy state within the Caribbean. What that will mean for you is that your electricity bill will be slashed. In addition to that, when we get in government we will remove all taxes on anything that is green energy so that you can install green energy fittings on your homes. And if you produce more energy than you need in a day, you will put it back into the grid and the government will give you a credit for it.” he added.
But as Maynard revealed his party’s plan, he did not explain how the government intends to share the cost for the green energy proposal being put forward.
Historically, oftentimes the initial cost for any new venture is passed on to consumer.
Nevertheless, the former MP and Engineer pledged to ensure that a SKNLP government would stick to the commitment of ensuring that electricity cost remains low and the Federation to become the first green energy economy in the region.