Voting ‘NO’ on a sure thing Print E-mail
( 29 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 30 September 2010 00:00

There is not a single legitimate investment in Belize that can yield more returns on the dollar than an investment made in Belize Telemedia Limited. The company has a long history of basically ‘over performing’. It is likely that the fascination that the Belizean people have for talking on the cell phone and communicating in general has propelled the company into becoming the country’s number one investment opportunity. It is no wonder why the likes of Michael Ashcroft and Jeoffrey Prosser have gone to great lengths to own the company. Just the mere thought of BTL, we imagine, makes Ashcroft salivate. After all, over the years he’s been able to secure 10’s if not 100’s of millions of dollars out of the company. Similarly, Jeoffrey Prosser made quite the return when he had control of the company. 

A great investment opportunity such as the one which is being presented by the government, in the form of BTL, is something that does not come very often. That is reason enough for anyone to invest in BTL. Here you have a secure investment that offers a guaranteed return, more than likely in the range of 12 to 15%. For the ordinary individual who has a few dollars to spare, it is not a difficult decision to take those extra dollars and purchase shares in BTL. Why then is it so difficult for the National Trade Union Congress of Belize to take the same decision that countless Belizeans will take after October 15 when the BTL shares will be made available?

A week or so ago, the NTUCB’s representative chose to vote against Social Security money being used to purchase BTL shares.

The ‘No’ vote by the NTUCB is an action that is without understanding. The people’s money, the money of thousands of workers in this country needs to be invested wisely. Of course there is the argument that in the past the workers’ money has been used to pay off private debts (Intelco) and at times lent such as in the case of a ten million dollar loan given to Sunshine with no returns to the workers. This, however, is not the case with the proposed investment in BTL. The yearly profits made from the investment in BTL would accrue directly into the account of the Social Security Board. Actuarial reports have shown that this kind of long term investment is lacking at the Social Security Board and with no other alternative as good as the one presented by BTL there is no other option but to invest in BTL.

What is it then about the BTL investment that the NTUCB is so weary about? Dylan Reneau says he fears that the BTL money would be used to pay the Super Bond. Well something like that is unlikely to happen if SSB buys the shares since government does not have direct access to SSB. It is more likely for that to happen if government continues to own BTL. So that fear too can be placed aside. It is then not understandable why the NO vote. Maybe the NTUCB should reconsider their position and realize that there is no way that they can vote no on a sure thing.