ONLINE READERS COMMENT: Jamaicans should own a share in Petrojam

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

The Editor,
Dear Sir or Madam:

Petrojam: The objective ought to be to have it owned, via the Jamaica Stock Exchange, by a wide cross-section of the Jamaican people. No single individual or company should have possession of more than a small number of shares. Even with divestment to the people, the State would retain majority control for a time or perhaps permanently. To move toward this goal, however, the State must first have full possession.

The route to full possession should preferably not be compulsory takeover. If the reported size of proposals made to the Venezuelan company is accurate, an offer closer to what the Venezuelans were asking should be considered as the first step. The next would be a negotiation conducted at the highest level. It would take place against an either-or background unstated and unthreatened but clearly evident from the pending acquisition bill. Implementation would only follow a failed negotiation, as a friendly negotiating stance could show.

What Jamaica would not agree to is the sale by the Venezuela of its 49 per cent to a third party. That would be a non-negotiable. But many other terms remain possible, for example the inclusion of some payment over an extended period, and our continued intake of Venezuelan oil.

With direct communication an agreement could be reached within two months. It would open the way to the Chris Zacca report (for which a date earlier than May ought to be sought), to a decision whether to go forward with an upgraded refinery or some other option, and the pursuit of such funding as would be needed. Such an approach would win the support – with financial input – of Jamaicans everywhere, even the partisan, as well as not put off prospective foreign investors.

We should not insert into this 'economic' issue our judgement of the respective roles of imperialism and Nicolas Maduro's blunders in Venezuela's current mess. Let us just seek what is best for Jamaicans and not allow ourselves to be nudged or pushed to rebuff a people, now in great need, who stood by us in our moment of great need.

Horace Levy

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon