NIS): Appearing on Wednesday’s edition of “Working for You”, senior members of the St. Kitts Electricity Company Ltd. (SKELEC), took the opportunity to clarify that even though the Government has 100 percent shares in the company, SKELEC operates as a private business.
“At SKELEC, we are a corporate enterprise. We are 100 percent owned by the Government. It is our only shareholder, but we are a company,” explained Pearl Williams, Finance Manager of SKELEC. “On a day to day basis, we receive no help from the central Government, in that we have to manage our affairs; we have to do our own collections. In fact, as any shareholder, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will be looking for its dividends in the future from us because that is how it is when you have a company and you invest, you expect returns from that company.”
She further explained that SKELEC does not “operate on a day to day basis to put money into the company, once an initial investment has been made.”
Mrs. Williams also clarified that the Act which governs the electricity company states that the minister, who in this case is Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, essentially has authorization for everything.
“Everything really stops with the minister. The minister will appoint members to sit of the board,” she explained.
The finance manager said that one of the challenges SKELEC is facing is that persons still think that the company is a government department.
“I think because of that, the positives and negatives that come with it are there,” explained Mrs. Williams. “For instance, persons may think that it belongs to the Government so I do not necessarily have to pay my bills on time. It is Government so anything that belongs to SKELEC belongs to me. I don’t have to take care of the SKELEC pole. I don’t have to take care of the Government meter because it’s government’s property.”
SKELEC became a private company on August 1, 2011.