NP Gas Station at Cross Crossing San Fernando. (Image: KRISTIAN DE SILVA)

Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC MP, is questioning whether the Government is signalling its intention to close down the Trinidad and Tobago National Petroleum Marketing Company (NP), with its proposed move to sell off and privatize all of NP’s gas stations.

During her response to the Government’s 2021 Budget in the Parliament today, Persad-Bissessar said what makes the National Petroleum Marketing Company profitable in today’s market economy is the franchise agreements with the petroleum dealers and/or the retailers.

She said NP obtains most of its profits under the current business model plan of the management and rental operations of the gas station network, which includes the convenience stores that are operated by the dealers.

The Opposition Leader added that this amounts to 70% of NP’s profits.

“Are they going to come and put more than 500 permanent employees and their families on the breadline, as well as the thousands of citizens who are dependent on National Petroleum contractors?”

Persad-Bissessar said as it pertains to the sale of the 75 stations, the estimated value of the service stations owned by NP is approximately TT $1 billion, each of which has an approximate value of TT $15 million.

She said there must be no fire sale of state assets before the procurement legislation is operational.