Category Archives: Business

Can Barbados produce an Electric Cycle for the world?

CameronEV – Electric Vehicles rejects substandard shoddy bikes

Will CameronEV set up manufacturing in Barbados?

We’ve followed the adventures our friend David Cameron for 2 years as he performed real world testing of electric bicycles in Barbados. David’s company CameronEV – Electric Vehicles is based in Ottawa Canada, and every four or five months he arrives in Bim with new technology and bigger plans.

BFP readers followed Cameron’s struggles to make it up Sugar Hill in 2009 and then guffawed in 2010 when he claimed he’d driven 176kms on the island for the sum total of one US dollar. That is, we laughed until we realized he’d done just that. Hmmmmmm… kind of makes the old blue Toyota look like the pig that it is!

We watched with surprise last April as David arrived in Hastings at a certain night spot with a pretty girl on the back and immediately collected a fairly substantial crowd of onlookers who were fascinated with the electric bike. (Clive shifted his attention to the bike too when he discovered that the lady in question was Mrs. Cameron. Hey… nice to see that Clive has some scruples left!)

“There is a cultural shift happening – solo BMW 4×4 drivers are the new smokers.”

Late in 2010, Cameron Industries (Barbados) was born with the goal of helping Barbados to go green – but as we saw earlier this year in March during David’s big test report, the quality of Electric-assisted bikes, well, sucks.

There are design and manufacturing problems with waterproofing of electrical components, corrosion of parts in our salt air and other issues that David can’t seem to solve no matter which supplier he looks to.

The David Cameron solution? Design and build better quality Electric bikes – and build them here in Barbados if possible.

Government MP Stephen Lashley, BlackBerry, BMWs

Dave has plans. Big plans. The world is changing. Economical and reliable personal transportation is part of that change. There is a cultural shift happening – solo BMW 4×4 drivers are the new smokers. It will take time, but eventually conspicuous consumption and waste of energy will be looked at with disdain. Solo drivers of gas-guzzlers are the new smokers.

We have to live smaller. That doesn’t mean living inconveniently or without the freedom and economic benefits that come from access to personal transportation – but we can no longer afford the cost, waste and abuse of resources that it takes to drive a big 4×4 solo for every trip. Even if individuals can afford to drive their BMW 4x4s everywhere, we as a society can’t afford it.

From the website of CameronEV Electric Vehicles

Rejection of Electric Vehicles made in the Far-East, India, the EU and North America; and the way ahead for the future.

Coupled with our research and testing in Canada and Barbados, CameronEV-Electric Vehicles attempt to obtain suitable units has proved to be totally futile from the current suppliers.

In the interests of our clients, CameronEV-Electric Vehicles will not order the units that are available due to the substandard quality of product and manufacturer service available.

The outcome of having no new units for 2011 is a reality.

The way-ahead…. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Environment

Lowe out, Kellman in as Barbados Environment Minister: Still no laws or standards

The shared DLP and BLP legacy continues

Denis Kellman, MP for St. Lucy, was sworn in on Tuesday, January 4th as the new Environment Minister. The post was previously occupied by Denis Lowe, who was hospitalized a few days ago in critical condition with respiratory problems.

Barbados does not have any Environmental Protection Act or standards for the handling, use and disposal of hazardous substances because successive DLP and BLP governments haven’t bothered to enact any in 44 years of independence.

Each year for the past 20 years successive Environment Ministers promised to implement an Environmental Protection Act but did not do so. Minister Denis Lowe promised the act would be made law in 2009 and again in 2010. BLP Environment Minister Liz Thompson told the same stories throughout her tenure and then wasted some 200 million dollars on a doomed-from-the-start foolish project to build a landfill on shifting soil in the Scotland District.

This lack of environmental laws, coupled with government policies that do not recognise the importance of green space and environmental planning has led to wholesale development on the west and south coasts. The blockage and destruction of much of the natural watershed has resulted in serious and continuing flooding in many areas at the slightest rain.

We have no mandatory recycling or local pickup. There is jet fuel contamination of wells on the south coast and we’re dumping raw sewerage into the RAMSAR wetlands while selling off green space to politicians’ developer friends. Previously protected environmentally sensitive land at Graeme Hall has already been re-zoned by the DLP to allow development. Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Disaster, Environment, Health, Nature, Politics, Wildlife

Two women at the helm of Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry – Is that better than two men? Worse? Same?

First Female Executive Director for Chamber to assume duties January 2010

Lisa Gale is new BCCI Executive Director

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry is pleased to announce that Mrs. Lisa Gale will assume the responsibilities of Executive Director as of Monday 1st January 2010. Mrs. Gale is the first female Director in the history of the Chamber.

Having a wealth of experience in Economics and International Trade, Mrs. Gale’s prior immediate post was Senior Economist in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, where she advised Government on International Trade Policy for 8 years. This involved among other duties, interacting with CARICOM and other regional organisations, as well as preparing trade reports, briefs, Cabinet Papers and statistics. She also liaised with the public as it relates to International Trade matters – all of which suit the challenges of leading Barbados’ oldest Non-Governmental Organisation.

Madame President Glenda Medford observed that since both the Chamber’s President and Executive Director are ladies – as BCCI enters a new decade and era, the helm will benefit from ‘the feminine touch.’

Lisa Gale is a Combermerian who also received training at both the Cave Hill and Mona campuses of UWI, as well as graduating with Distinction from the College of International Broadcasting (Barbados). For three years she also tutored Micro-Economics at the University of the West Indies.

The Executive Director says she looks forward to ‘hit the ground running’ and implementing her mandate to carry the Chamber forward into the next decade. Mrs. Gale holds a bachelors degree in 
Economics and a Masters in International Trade Policy and has benefitted from a plethora of training courses organized by the World Trade Organization.

That’s the BCCI Press Release Above – Now for a Reality Check

BCCI President Glenda Medford

If a CV and experience are the sole qualities necessary for running any organisation, then President Glenda Medford and Executive Director Lisa Gale should be successful at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Both are qualified on paper.

But as we’ve seen time and time again in other organisations, paper qualifications are no substitute for the dynamic leadership necessary to make things happen. The education and technical skills are a necessary foundation, but unless “Capital L” LEADERSHIP is there no progress will be made.

The first question is: Can the BCCI make a real difference to our faltering financial and tourism sectors that are the very heart of our country’s economy?

We at Barbados Free Press aren’t sure that having “the feminine touch” or “a man’s hand” has anything to do with making the BCCI useful to Barbados and the Barbados business community.

Okay, ladies – we’ll have a day or two of celebration about an all-female leadership team at BCCI, but then let’s talk performance.

And please appreciate that we’re happy to see more of our sisters, wives, mothers and daughters actively taking leadership roles in Barbados (and that for BCCI like everyone, there is no such thing as bad publicity.)

But January 2nd is coming and then it will be time to get back to work. BCCI’s leadership team might want to consider the following questions that are on every business person’s mind when they hear “BCCI” – even if they are too polite to ask the questions directly…

What is the mission statement of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry?

Is the mission of the BCCI still valid? Does the mission need changing?

Is BCCI fulfilling its mission? How do we know that BCCI is fulfilling its mission?

What can the BCCI do to improve my business and my profit?

How do we measure BCCI’s performance and impact upon our economy and upon my business?

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Offshore Investments

Bajans held hostage by the Chicken Cartel

The Editor
Barbados Free Press

Dear Sir/Madam,

Recently, Mr. Carlisle Brathwaithe, President of the Barbados Egg and Poultry Producers Association (BEPPA), has been keeping a lot of noise about the adverse effect that, the importation of turkey wings is allegedly having on the sale of chicken. He has alluded to the fact that, there were about fifteen-hundred persons engaged in the industry, which translated into a total of six-thousand when family members were included. Mention was also made by him, to the effect that it would be advantageous to the industry, if Salmonella spp. infections were an occurrence of the past in locally produced chicken.

barbados-chicken-legsMy position is known where the local poultry industry is concerned. I have always said that it is a cartel. This has not been disputed by the industry. I have stated in the past on numerous occasions that, the addition of water to dress chicken is unhygienic and has been banned in the European Union and the United States. In letters to your newspaper, I have shown that the cumulative effect of added water, results in an additional outlay of 1.5 million Barbadian dollars annually by the consumers. In any event, once the members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), institute ISO 9000/WTO standards, BEPPA will not be able to export chicken, to which water has been added. The addition of water to poultry, to increase weight, constitutes food fraud.

I find it laughable that, Brathwaithe is advocating government ban the importation of turkey wings. Is this the same industry, which lobbied and obtained in 2002, from government, a sixty percent import duty on imported poultry? The duty was imposed ostensibly as a measure to ensure the retention of jobs in the industry. The industry still proceeded to down size.

Is this the same industry, which lobbied and obtained in 2002, the imposition of a fifteen-twenty percent commission from the importers, which was payable to the Barbados Agricultural Development Marketing Corporation (BADMC)? Is this the same President, who in 2000 in articles to the press had the following to say “…wings may virtually disappear from the Barbados market as a result of high prices”. This statement was in response to the imposition of tariffs of 207 percent on the product.

chicken-roost-barbados.jpgThe BEPPA has gotten its wish. Chickens wings have disappeared from the market, as a result of non-issuance of import permits by government. The BEPPA has blamed the importation of turkey wings in part, for the reduction in sales of chicken. This is the same tactic that was used in 1998 against chicken wings, despite the fact that like this year, there was a glut of flying fish. The BEPPA then, as it has done now, fail to consider the possibility that fish consumption resulted in a decline in chicken sales. The rapaciousness of the BEPPA seems to have no bounds. I wonder for how longer is government, going to allow 2.2% of a population of 270,000, to hold an entire country to ransom.

The presence of Salmonella is going to be problem as long as antibiotic are given to chicken in an effort to increase weight gain. This problem is exacerbated by the use of the spin-chiller or slush ice, in an effort to increase the water content of chicken. The constant use of antibiotics subject micro-organisms to selective pressures. That is, the organisms evolve resistant strains to the antibiotics used. In the case of the spin-chiller or slush ice, biocides are used, so the same selective pressures are operative. Additionally, bio-film formation by micro-organisms occurs readily on metallic surfaces. These bio-films are difficult to control and eradicate. Bio-film also increases an organism’s resistance to antibiotics.

Sincerely
Robert D. Lucas, Ph.D.
Food biotechnologist.

12 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business

C.L. Financial’s assets vanished into thin air – $100.7 billion down to $23.9 billion

CL Financial Fraud

“Given accounting conventions as to intervening events and their reporting, it is startling, to say the least, that this balance sheet should have declined to $24Bn just 12 months and 13 days after their reporting date. Only 56 days after publication.  This is an aspect of the fiasco which has not been discussed in public, so far.

We need to hear some accounting of this extraordinary situation.  Just to select one item of interest, Loans and Advances are shown as $21.975Bn in the CLF 2007 accounts and yet only $8.0Bn is there at 13th January 2009.

My reading of this is that CL Financial’s assets declined in value from $100.7Bn at the end of 2007 to $23.9Bn at the beginning of 2009.”

… from Afra Raymond’s excellent article Finding the Assets

Further Reading

BFP, June 3, 2009 – CL Financial, CLICO Fraud Report: Dummy Company, Phantom “Consultancy” Payments, Vanishing Money Transfers From Company To Company

BFP, June 2, 2009 – EXCLUSIVE REPORT BY BARBADOS FREE PRESS: CL Financial Group Collapse – Insiders Took Bribes To Have Company Purchase Land For More Than Market Value!

26 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Corruption, Offshore Investments

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry – Franchising Presentation with Regional Expert Mario Sabga-Aboud: Wednesday September 30th

BCCI President Glenda Medford

BCCI President Glenda Medford

Franchising – A Catalyst for Economic Development

There are strong and opposing views in the Barbadian business community over the granting of a licence to open a franchise of the American fast food chain Subway in Barbados. Some members of the business community object to Subway setting up shop citing the threat of job security during an economic recession as one reason.

Nevertheless, Barbadians like several of their CARICOM neighbours are no strangers to including fast food in their diet.  Indeed, over the years a number of well know outlets have sought to make their stake on the local market only to pull up stakes shortly thereafter.

Yet many view franchising as an attractive investment option, since a few Barbadian entrepreneurs outside of the food industry have franchised their operations across the region and beyond and continue to reap success.

Pizza Boys CEO Mario Sabga-Aboud

Pizza Boys' Mario Sabga-Aboud

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry is facilitating discussion between the differing viewpoints with a Special Presentation from Mr. Mario Sabga-Aboud, Chairman, Pizza Boys Group of Companies as he addresses the topic ‘Franchising – A Catalyst for Economic Development’ creating opportunities for a very enlightening and stimulating dialogue on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 at 12 noon at Hilton Barbados.

Contact the Chamber to make your reservations now, seating is limited.

Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Tel:   (246) 620-4750
Fax:  (246) 620-2907
Email: bcci@bdscham.com
Website: http://www.bdscham.com

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Consumer Issues, Offshore Investments

Conflicts of Interest and Sinister Secrecy Continue in CLICO Scandal

Update: March 2, 2010

This article was originally published by us on September 22, 2009. In light of Afra Raymond’s excellent article published by BFP on March 1, 2010 CL Financial & CLICO Bailout – The Mystery of the Missing Billions we thought our readers might want to give further consideration to the conflicts of interest by Barbados Prime Minister Thompson in relation to the CLICO scandal and bailout. We’ll repost this article at the top of the blog for a day or two.

Here is our original Sept. 22, 2009 article…

Barbados Insurance Industry executives finally sound public alarm about Prime Minister Thompson’s friendship with Leroy Parris

As CLICO's lawyer, PM Thompson helped to build the house of cards

As CLICO's lawyer, PM Thompson helped Leroy Parris build the house of cards

The Prime Minister of Barbados has a long-standing conflict of interest between his duty to the public and his close friendship with CLICO Barbados executive Leroy Parris. Mr. Thompson has addressed the conflict essentially by saying that Parris is his longtime friend and anyone who has a problem with that can pound salt. In other words, the public can “piss off”.

Sorry about the language friends, but I wanted you to be clear on the Prime Minister’s simple message when the fancy words are stripped away. Make no mistake, Barbados citizens have been told to “piss off” when it comes to mentioning David Thompson’s conflict of interest.

Now some insurance industry executives are finally speaking out. (source article at end of page)

Thompson’s Conflict of Interest with CLICO goes far deeper than his friendship with Leroy Parris

If the conflict was only friendship, it would be bad enough – but it is much worse than that…

Consider this about Prime Minister Thompson’s conflict of interest over CLICO…

Thompson used to be CLICO’s lawyer – at a time when the company illegally failed to file financial statements!

Continue reading

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Corruption, Offshore Investments

EXCLUSIVE REPORT BY BARBADOS FREE PRESS: CL Financial Group Collapse – Insiders Took Bribes To Have Company Purchase Land For More Than Market Value!

UPDATED: August 9, 2010

This article has spiked in the last day as hundreds of searchers are being directed to Barbados Free Press through a Google search for “Ramchand RAMNARINE“.

Mr. Ramnarine is one of the Directors of the Florida company “B. A. Management Services, Inc.” that is associated with the fraudulent Florida land deal described in this article.

We can find no recent news stories online that would explain the sudden interest in Mr. Ramnarine, but several hundred people apparently experienced the urge to Google his name in the last 24 hours.

Can any of our readers tell us why Mr. Ramnarine is generating such interest?

Original article…

Barbados Free Press Turns Up TWO NEW Companies – One Registered Feb 2009 – Possibly Involved & Not Yet Known To Fraud Investigators!

bribery.jpgCourt documents sent to Barbados Free Press reveal that a CL Financial Group company involved in a US$300 million dollar Florida land deal – paid more than market value for the land. This happened because the seller of the land provided “incentives” (read “secret commissions”, “bribes” or “gifts”) to company insiders in return for having CL Financial Group purchase the land for more than it was worth. Continue reading

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Corruption, Offshore Investments

Barbados Needs Lower Intra-Caribbean Air Taxes To Help Level The Playing Field Between Cruise Ships, Air Travel And Island Hotels

barbados-cruiseship-boarding.jpgAt a time when various Caribbean Ministers of Government have recently met and agreed to levy yet another tax on intra Caribbean air travel, its time perhaps for them to contemplate exactly the effect its having on land based tourism.

A seven day cruise departing from Barbados was recently advertised with one of the largest companies, taking in St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Dominica and back to Barbados.   With a lead-in price from US$449 per person plus mandatory gratuities, Government fees and taxes, it represented what many might consider outstanding value-for-money. Especially as when you consider most meals, and other features like entertainment are included.

Of the overall total cost, an amount of US$55.42 per person is shown as Government fees and taxes.   Now let’s say you were the same person considering visiting our Caribbean neighbours and taking the cheapest published airfares between point to point, what would you pay in Government taxes and add-ons?

Barbados-St. Lucia US$61.87; St. Lucia – Antigua US$82.57; Antigua-St. Kitts US$42.10; St. Kitts – San Juan US$52.70; San Juan – St. Thomas US$34.50; St. Thomas – Dominica US$33.00 and Dominica- Barbados US$25.38!

Barbados Grantley Adams International Airport

Barbados Grantley Adams International Airport

So a massive US$332.12 per person in taxes and add-ons to visit the same number of destinations by air! In fact this figure is even higher, because some governments are not yet including the departure tax in the ticket price.

Now what about the overall contribution to the region?   Well we know many of the ships are not registered in the region. We know they largely employ extra-regional crew and officers, who as far as I am aware contribute little in national insurance contributions, income or other taxes to the Caribbean.   The overwhelming percentage of what is consumed onboard is sourced outside of the Caribbean.

And finally, where does the lion’s slice of the revenue and profit generated from the world’s largest cruise market go?   Of course, outside the region!   On the other hand, the almost dominant regional airline has been subsidised over decades by the Caribbean taxpayer. The reason we are told the departure taxes are so high is because we need to upgrade the airports, but wait a minute, don’t we, and haven’t ‘we’ upgraded the ports as well?

How can anyone reasonably argue for airports to extract more than six times the amount in taxes than our ports do?

For the ship cruise operators, when the going gets tough, all they have to do is haul the anchor and sail off to Alaska, Dubai or the Mediterranean.   Hoteliers and other land-based tourism partners sadly do not have that option.

I am not, repeat not advocating against the cruise ships and their recognised contribution. But simply asking the playing field to be levelled to a degree where we can at least think of competing and surviving in these troubling economic times.   Yes! There have been repeated calls for hoteliers to lower their rates and make them more affordable to Caribbean Nationals, while at the same time considerable pressure has been placed on them to maintain employment.   Most of recognise the desirability of having a truly pan Caribbean marketing campaign, but don’t do it at the expense of an already barely viable accommodation sector.

Adrian Loveridge

30 May 2009

3 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Message To The U.K. News Media: British High Commissioner To Barbados Is NOT Our “Barbados’ Head Of Trade”

“During the Trade Visit, Thomas had the opportunity to outline Akome’s services to Barbados’ Head of Trade, British High Commissioner Duncan Taylor. On his recommendation, Akome approached BICO.”

… from a press release published at 24dash.com: Cool Customer! Croydon Enterprise Business Helps Ice Cream Firm Slash Energy Bills

UK Press Release: BICO Ice Cream Gets A New Roof In Barbados

The story came to us as a press release and is actually a very interesting and informative piece about how Akome Energy helped BICO slash energy bills in half with a few changes.

Barbados Head Of Trade? I Don't Think So!

Barbados Head Of Trade? I Don't Think So!

But last I heard, Barbados is no longer a British Colony. We’ve had our own government and Trade Minister for at least a couple of weeks now.  😉

A small point, but it just shows you that some folks still have the same image of Barbados that they had 50 or 100 years ago.

Am I being too sensitive here, my friends?

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Energy, Environment, Politics, Technology

Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry Enlists New Marketing Communications Executive

Ian Bourne

Ian Bourne

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry in meeting the current economic challenges of Barbados through effective and efficient communications with its stakeholders has announced the appointment of Mr. Ian Bourne as its new Marketing Communications Executive.

Chief Executive Officer of the BCCI, Magnus Whitehead, says that Bourne will strengthen his organisation’s ability to communicate with its members, government and local and international business partners.  We are pleased to welcome Ian as a member of our team. Following the development of a three-year Strategic Plan in 2008, Ian’s appointment brings us closer to fulfilling our restructuring process and achieving our objectives, says Whitehead.

Bourne, familiarly know as a former Anchor for CBC-TV 8’s Evening News, has several years experience in marketing communications, the most recent as Public Relations Officer with a government statutory organisation.

Bourne says that while grateful for his time with his previous employer, which he views as another family, he nevertheless looks forward to reviving certain initiatives of the BCCI and developing new ones. He says he appreciates and is looking forward to the challenge of carrying forward the directives of the BCCI during a very challenging financial period.

16 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Business & Banking

Barbados Government Bailed Out CLICO Even Though Company Failed To File Financial Statements

PM Thompson Says His Conflicts Of Interest Are None Of Your Business

PM Thompson Says His Conflicts Of Interest Are None Of Your Business... but CLICO is getting an excellent return on loaning their corporate jet to David Thompson!

Barbados Prime Minister Thompson Was Lawyer For CLICO When They Failed To File Financials For 13 Years!

David Thompson and CLICO CEO Leroy Parris have had quite the cozy relationship and it just keeps getting better. Well, better for them anyway. Whether the relationship is healthy for the taxpayers of Barbados, that is another question. Especially after they read the new article by Keltruth that shines some light on a few areas the two gentlemen would probably rather not have mentioned.

Thompson was the lawyer for CLICO in 2004 when that company hadn’t filed financial statements for over a decade. CLICO Holdings (Barbados) Ltd. 1993 financial statements were filed in 2006!!!

Some of the CLICO sub-companies haven’t filed financial statements in years and years and some have NEVER FILED financial statements!

But Prime Minister David Thompson and his government are bailing them out anyway.

And it is the same with his rich horse-owner friends at the Barbados Turf Club where Thompy’s government bailed them out to the tune of $19 million dollars or so even though the latest financial statements on file are for the year 2004!

Keltruth Blog did proper searches at the government office and has copies of the corporate records to back up everything they have printed in their latest story.

Oversight? Rule of law? Accountability?

Cha! The DLP is handing out millions and millions of your tax dollars to bail out companies that don’t even keep or file their financial statements according to law.

Another disgusting illustration that electing the Thompson DLP government changed nothing except to provide a new bunch of piggies with their time at the public trough.

Keltruth Blog: Did Thompson’s DLP Have Audited Financials for the Companies that they Bailed Out?

11 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Business, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

People You Can Rely Upon: Pretty Ethiopian Orphans, Rich African Widows, CLICO Investment Bankers…

Jepter Ince has never said "Now is not the time to invest."

Jepter Ince has never said "Now is not the time to invest."

We’re All Going To Be Rich! Filthy Rich, I Tell You!

One never knows what little GEMS of financial information and advice will show up in your inbox each morning. Today all I have to do is to show a little faith in what these folks are telling me and I shall be rich, rich, rich!!!!

Email #1 – From A Beautiful Ethiopian Orphan..

My dear

I am miss florence naissm from Ethiopia , i am single and 26 year old girl. Immediately after going through your profile i made up my mind to contact you for friendship, marriage or long term relationship because you are my choice of trust. I must reveal to you that my daddy was the Financial controler to the Common Wealth North African Region who was killed with my mother. i am the only child. Before my daddy died he made me the beneficiary of his final WILL and i am the beneficiary of the sum of 4.5 Million USD$ in his Domicilary US Dollar account…

Email #2 – From A Rich Widow In Need Of Assistance…

Dearest One,

I am Mrs. Aisatou Mohammed; My late husband used to worked with Chevron/Texaco Cote D’Ivoire for twenty years before he died in 2005. My late husband deposited some money $7.5 million with a local bank here. And this money is still with the bank as the management just wrote me as the beneficiary to come forward to receive the money or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf if I can not come over due to my health situation…

Email #3 – Nation News Publishes Promises From Former CLICO Investment Banker Jepter Ince…

jepter-ince-barbados

For years Jepter Ince and others like him have been flogging Barbadians all kinds of “investment vehicles” – financial products like the CLICO Balanced Fund he launched in 2000 with his promise as Fund Manager that it was “designed to create economic wealth for individuals and families in the short, medium and long-term.

Mr. Ince even advised people to borrow to invest in his fund…

Yup, back in the year 2000 Mr. Ince and CLICO said we should all just step right up and borrow from Clico Mortgage & Finance Corporation to invest in the Clico Balanced Fund. Then the fund would invest “throughout the region”.

Hmmmmmm…. I guess Mr. Ince forgot to tell us that the Clico fund would be investing in companies owned by Clico and its affiliates.

If that all sounds a bit circular and house-of-cards-ish, well couldn’t we all see back in 2000 that everything was fine and under control? Silly people… step right and borrow the money from CLICO and we’ll invest it in the CLICO fund that will invest in the CLICO companies. Simple, yes?

Of course in Barbados we are all honest so there was no real oversight necessary. Never mind that now in 2009 everybody is saying that there should be better oversight in the financial and banking industries…

Now Mr. Ince is telling us “A recession can be a time for prudent financial investing…” and “now is the time to strategically invest, with the potential of great pay-offs…”

Really, Mr. Ince? Well, I guess that could be true if things are not going to get any worse. And if we had any faith left in your industry, or in the products you previously sold us.

Mr. Ince, why don’t you tell us what returns you’ve achieved for your clients since you created the CLICO Balanced Fund in 2000? How did all those folks do who borrowed money from you to invest in your fund so you could put that money back into Clico? Huh? How did they do?

And one more thing, Mr. Ince…

Was there any time in the past ten years when you told us “Now is NOT the time to invest…”

I’ve been looking all over and I can’t find one report of you saying such a thing. Why not?

Further Reading

The Nation: Jepter Ince – Now “good time” to invest

Stabroek News: Clico (Barbados) statutory fund in deficit – Mottley

Keltruth Blog: CLICO Quiz (You must take this delightful quiz!, Cliverton)

AND HERE’S A LITTLE SOMETHING WE REMEMBER TOO!

CLICO fund decline
(Wednesday, 15 February 2006)

The CLICO Balance Fund is looking to 2006 for an improved showing. Fund Manager, Jepter Ince, says there was a five percent decline, but he is optimistic this year’s performance will be better.

Speaking at a training seminar for over 70 agents at the Accra Beach Hotel, Mr. Ince anticipates a growth in the capital market and greater harmonisation in cross border trading. He says recent education programmes have also contributed to the fund’s viability.

One of the fund’s director’s, Tony Marshall suggests it’s never too late to invest in the fund.

27 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Ethics, Offshore Investments

Cable and Wireless/LIME Made Over A Billion Dollars Profit Last Year – A Pity They Didn’t Invest Some Of That In Customer Support

“The past day has heard me screaming loudly and boiling internally at the ostrich called “LIME”. I am reading books on arson as I write. The story in brief, and it’s not the first time. “Catch 22″ has nothing on this…”

… Dennis Jones of Living In Barbados blog considers suicide, arson and a number of other solutions after experiencing the (smirk) “Customer Service” offered by LIME-Cable & Wireless. If you hate Cable & Wireless/LIME because of their couldn’t-care-less attitude to customers, you’ll know exactly what Dennis is talking about.

Living In Barbados Blog: Bredda Jackass Gon’ on Holiday

From the Nation Newspaper article $1b C&W Pie

“(Cable & Wireless) Customer satisfaction in the Caribbean grew by 11 per cent to 78 per cent, lowest customer satisfaction rating of any of the operations listed.
C&W’s Panama operations recorded customer satisfaction of 94 per cent, Macau’s was 95 per cent, while Monaco and Islands’ recorded customer satisfaction of 93 per cent.”

11 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues

Barbados Tourism Disaster On The “Platinum” West Coast

“The old people in Barbados used to say that if it rained on New Years Day it will rain all year. Well, we had a lot of rain here on the west coast on New Years Day and if the old people are right, a lot of people are going to get soaked in 2009.”… West Coast Blog article Nearly Half The Villas At Four Seasons Still Unsold

West Coast Blog Says Hotel Guests Down 70% At Almond Beach Village!

Our friends over at West Coast Blog (WCB) have their finger on the pulse of “Platinum Coast” tourism and they say that the patient is in critical condition – nevermind that this is the “high season”. WCB cites a number of statistics and it is obvious they have insider knowledge about hotel occupancy rates and condo sales figures. Today’s article makes a compelling case that all those happy, optimistic articles we’ve been reading in the Barbados media are not exactly the real picture.

Folks, as we said in mid-December, 2009 is going to be a brutal year for tourism. You should be putting your personal emergency plan into action NOW! As we said in our article You Can Taste The Fear In Barbados – Travel Poised to “drop off a cliff” in January, there are steps you should be taking…

– Shun debt.

– Work hard.

– Economise.

– Maintain friends and family. Look after them and they will look after you.

Things are bad, and they will get worse. A lot worse. Look after your friends and family because it could be you next.

35 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Offshore Investments, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Ian Bourne’s New Year’s Resolution – No More Abuse From KFC and Chefette in Barbados

From The Desk of Ian Bourne

Ms Kim Tudor; Nat’l Initiative for Service Excellence/
Ms Michelle Hustler-Small; Bds. Coalition of Service industries/
Editor; Daily Nation/
Editor; B’dos Advocate & Heat Magazine

28/12/2008

Attn: New Year’s Resolution, viz. – Service

Dear All:

Most people at this time of year make a New Year’s resolution; more often than not it usually involves losing weight. My resolution also concerns food, but as it relates to service…

On Saturday 27th December I decided to have a Gourmet Burger at Chefette’s Barbecue Barn for a late lunch or early dinner – much to my regret; I ordered a small salad, burger-platter and a Pepsi.

Before the cashier rang up the sale, I made sure to add I wanted cheese and bacon with the burger and I paid the Chefette employee.

After having the salad my main course appeared and I collected it, while sitting at the table I looked at my meal, it seemed there was no cheese – I even looked at the bottom of the patty and it was dry bread underneath; naturally, I returned to the counter. I asked for an attendant and one who was not the cashier stepped up, so I explained what I thought was my shortcoming. Paraphrasing the rather appropriate Clement C. Moore for this time of year – what to my wondering ears … ?

She wrings up her face and says “LOOK, IT UP UNDER DEY!” hurled in either a snarling shout or shouting snarl (Translation – ‘Look, it’s up under there’ as in; the little bit of cheese was under the slice of bacon)

Still shocked, I went to sit back down at the table, I realised a senior-type Afro-American couple parallel to me were staring at me so I asked if they witnessed what happened; they not only confirmed what they saw but added they’re accustomed to it every time they visit the island and they try to ignore it – as I started to put on BBQ sauce on the burger I don’t know what happened, but I just had enough. I muttered to myself that enough is enough and this can’t happen anymore, then I marched back to the counter and demanded for the Manager On Duty; when she arrived I then proceeded to loudly demand for a refund on my meal as the service was not even what I expected at Nelson Street or Baxter’s Road.

I can safely state I did not use profanity, but I was not quiet, the entire fast-food establishment heard me, I was even asked what I wanted and I said I did not care it was Xmas or New Year’s that that woman did not deserve to be in a Chefette uniform and she should be sent home! To the Manager’s credit, she was quiet and apologised as well as giving me a full refund even though I ate the salad.

Chefette is not the only place to have poor service; there was October this year when Kentucky also failed in their bid to entice my patronage…

ian-bourne-kfc-barbadosI see in the Saturday Sun that Kentucky Fried Chicken is returning their Famous Bowl offer, this is where you get mashed potato with gravy and corn with popcorn chicken and draped with 3 different grated cheeses and a Pepsi to drink for $14.99 Bds – what is cool is the bowl has a resealable lid and is microwavable and dishwasher-safe, so you can reuse the item for a long time after!

So I head over to KFC’s Hastings branch, but having had previous horrors with KFC, I made sure to ask WHEN will the Famous Bowls be ready? I was made to wait for a bit then learn they’re “on hold” until the corn arrives… Quite naturally I ask how long will this take and I am told when the corn arrives in a perfect rendition of Catch-22! I blurt “Typical!” then exit the queue and stalk out to my car. Continue reading

69 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business

How Much Did Abdul Pandor Invoice Barbados For Re-Designing The ABC Highway?

barbados-flyover-scandal

Barbados Free Press received the following submission from an anonymous reader. As with all anonymous writings, including this blog, people should take a little salt, think for themselves and attempt to confirm or deny facts before coming to any conclusions. We have removed some information and sections from this piece.

Let’s see if anyone can come up with additional information that will assist the citizens of Barbados as they seek the transparency in the spending of their tax dollars – transparency that was once promised by the DLP but never happened.

Here is what we received…

In late October 2008 Mr. Pandor was appointed by Prime Minister David Thompson as head of the drainage unit our island’s newest new statutory corporation. This followed the floods of mid to late October.

Pandor was the Chairman of the National Housing Corporation (NHC) prior to his appointment to head the drainage unit; however, he did step down from this post following his move to the drainage unit.

At his press conference in October Thompson noted, “There are design problems that have come up recently in the ABC Expansion Project, particularly with this issue of drainage. I need him to work on the [design problems of the] ABC highway as well as the establishment of the drainage unit, a new structure for looking at these issues.”

Even before 3S was formally dismissed by Thompson Pandor was identified by the government as that person who would be asked to investigate the cost overruns relative to the ABC highway; additionally he was asked by MTW to redesign the ABC highway to reflect the removal of the flyovers.

Pandor submitted an invoice for the work required by MTW for (Amount Removed By BFP Editor). When the invoice was opened by the MTW civil servants; a few thought that their eye sight was playing tricks on them.

64 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Politics

Barbados Business and Government Hesitate To Use The Term “IP” (Internet Protocol) – Why?

Short answer: Money.  Hundreds of millions of dollars per year, in fact…

Longer answer: IP leads to what is known as Next Generation Networks (NGNs).

State Of The Art Technology At Our Famous Bajan Telephone Tree!

State Of The Art 1950's Technology At Our Famous Bajan Telephone Tree!

While the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) AKA the Public Switched Telephone Service (PSTN) dealt with a single 64 kb/s dedicated circuit (which always takes a single route) between two users to provide two-way, real-time audio (read: voice) service, the Internet deals with datagrams between multiple users using the best route available at that particular instance.

The fundamental issue is that the traditional telephony providers are used to charging a *great deal* of money for providing these dedicated circuits.  This is where the *money* is…

Along comes the Internet, which views voice as just another “data service”, along with video, the web, data exchange (read: BitTorrent), and real-time “presence”.

In the “Developed” world, the Providers have had to face the competition of the Internet head on.  This is why long-distance (read: International) rates there are something like USD $0.04 a minute or less.

Here in the Caribbean, the Providers have somehow (and I’ll be careful here to not tell you exactly how) convinced “Those in Power” that Consumers should not be able to use the technology available to their own advantage.  “It could affect Tax Revenue!”  (Read: The Providers are making stupid money, and the Governments (and others…) are taking a (*very*) small cut of this.)

At the end of the day, our region is being prevented from having affordable access to telecommunications services for the benefit of a very few — most of whom are not actually within the Caribbean.  We are being prevented from being able to compete on a level playing field, for the simple reason that we can’t communicate as we should and must be able to.

We, as a People, are being hindered in our progress for the benefit of those “away”.

Kindest regards to all.

Chris Halsall

Ideas4lease.com

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Consumer Issues, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption