Notwithstanding the trepidation haunting Jamaicans as we contemplate a return to a borrowing relation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), dreaded conditionalities and all, this energy researcher will be cheering them on, providing they levy one particular conditionality amongst their menu! If the IMF can do for Jamaicans what successive government have been unable, or more truthfully, unwilling to do, namely to get our monopoly utility company, the JPS to retool and reengineer the island’s electricity infrastructure then we will all welcome this conditionality.

Hell, hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans would meet their team at the airport waving palm branches! Nevertheless before our local financial experts, led by the guru himself, the inimitable Ralston Hyman give me an economic lesson I am aware that the IMF provides balance of payment support, period, for troubled economies. Right Mr. Hyman? But as I thought about our dilemma, it struck me, that chief amongst the items that we are in need of balance of trade support if our economy is to survive this recession, is the financing of our crude oil bill. And with our ability to pay for crude oil decreasing precipitously, we must of necessity ask for IMF assistance, even while Comrade Chavez waters down the vaunted PetroCaribe Agreement.

I beseech the IMF to oblige us, but with conditionality. First, that we turn our ever efficient scrap iron monger loose on JPS. For with an average plant efficiency of 20%, and equipment over 60 years old, the best option for us it to scrap them and cart them off to China.

Further, looking at the other side of the coin, with a inefficiency of 80%, US$80 of every US$100 that beleaguered Jamaicans fork over to purchase oil, a bill of some US$2 billion, mostly goes to heating up the Caribbean Sea, not in the supply of electricity.

Certaintly,we cant afford to do this lunacy anymore. And since our leaders are more likely to follow the dictates of foreign institutions such as the IMF, I beseech the IMF. “Mi a beg de IMF fi tell Breda Bruce (de Driva), conditionality number! : Oonu must fix JPS, seen!!!

Trevor (EnergyMan) Bogle

Categories: Letters

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