With the Government moving to sell Petrotrin’s refinery and Jamaica’s Government expected to follow suit with Petrojam, the discussion has begun in the region as to the efficiency of state owned entities and what businesses the state should and should not be involved in.
Jamaica’s National Security Minister, Dr Horace Chang has said that the Government has no business owning an oil refinery as there is no rationale to it.
According to him, a refinery is best left to be run by businessmen who can ensure its operational efficiency.
However, local energy expert Anthony “Tony” Paul offers a different perspective.
Speaking with News Power Now, Mr Paul explained that the Government does have a part to play in the development of some sectors particularly at the infancy of the sector’s development.
However, he added that as the sector matures, Governments should exit the sector and return to its role as a regulator rather than a competitor.
He added that capacity is also a problem in the running of state owned companies.
Mr Paul explained that many of the organizations and bodies tasked with overseeing state owned companies and keeping them in check do not have the capacity to do so.