Petroleum retailers on New Providence agree to take action over fuel margins

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- Petroleum retailers on New Providence say that they have decided to take action to ensure the viability of their businesses as discussions with the government over their current fuel margins have not yielded the desired results.

According to Raymond Jones, president of The Bahamas Petroleum Retailers Association, following an emergency meeting yesterday, 80 percent of the petroleum retailers on New Providence have decided to take action to reduce their operating costs.

“We can no longer profitably operate in The Bahamas. The purpose of our meeting was to make a decision on the course of action to take to bring some attention to our cause and the plight that we face currently,” said Jones.

Bahamas Petroleum Retailers Association president Raymond Jones

He continued, “The next course of action is for us to minimise our operating costs and that means looking at how we can reduce our operating hours, but you can stay tuned to that because we have decided what to do, and we will make the public aware of that at some point in short order.”

Jones explained that it is necessary for petroleum retailers to reduce their operating costs at this time because they can no longer continue to operate on a $0.54 cents margin, while their expenses such as salaries have gone up 24 percent.

“We need to be treated like every other investor in this country where we are afforded the ability to make money. We cannot continue with this anymore,” said Jones. He added, “We, as investors, operators, and entrepreneurs, need the same rights to pay our staff, operate our business, and take some money home. We need a livable income. We have loans to pay and overdrafts to meet. You can’t do that when scrapping to buy fuel,” said Jones.

He noted that while petroleum retailers have had substantive discussions with the government, those discussions have not yielded the desired results and now it is time for action.

“We are not seeing to get anywhere with them in terms of getting the results that we want,” said Jones.

When asked whether retailers are going on strike, he replied, “We are not going on strike. We are independent retailers. We will take some definitive action collectively,” said Jones.

“Everything that is in our arsenal that will give us the ability to survive is on the table,” Jones. When asked whether staff layoffs could be looming, Jones said, “We don’t want to see our staff out of work, but we have to take action to ensure that we are making money to pay them.”

Petroleum retailers on New Providence agree to take action over fuel margins

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