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Shopping for gas at a discount

Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis.

Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis.

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE government is negotiating with several shipping companies to import fuel into the country at discounted rates to help buffer soaring gas prices, according to Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis yesterday.

Mr Davis said his administration was able to successfully negotiate with one of those companies, but he did not disclose which one.

This comes as gas prices continue to rise locally, which is largely due to the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war and the subsequent sanctions imposed to ban Russian oil imports.

In early March, The Tribune reported that over a two-week period, motorists in New Providence, especially those who frequent Rubis gas stations, had faced a dramatic price hike. The supplier’s price at the pumps was $5.16 per gallon in mid-February - below its competitors.

By March 2, that price had risen to $5.52. While Shell stations did not increase during that time frame, remaining at $5.37, Esso rose by five cents, increasing from $5.19 to $5.24.

However, this week, fuel costs shot up to over $6 per gallon at all major providers in New Providence. Shell’s fuel costs are the highest among providers at $6.25 followed by Rubis at $6.19 and then Esso at $6.16.

“What I have been doing is exploring ways and means of putting up mechanisms for the challenge of inflation and that includes the cost of oil,” Mr Davis said of the rising prices at a press conference yesterday.

“What I have done is we have engaged with several of our shipping airlines, shipping agencies and I have been able to work out an engagement with one of them that has already agreed and has already put into effect the reduction of the cost of containers coming into the country.

“I don’t want to identify them because you don’t want a challenge as to what they’re charging but we have negotiated up to 38 percent discount on containers coming to The Bahamas, particularly from the Far East and we are waiting to hear what that discount will be from Florida and those are the efforts we have been engaged in to assist in mitigating the inflation and impact.”

Earlier this year, Bahamian consumers and businesses were warned to brace for gasoline prices to hit $6 per gallon this month after the Ukraine crisis sent oil prices soaring to seven-year highs.

Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell has predicted a high of $8 per gallon of gas this spring.

Economic Affairs Minister Michael Halkitis has said the situation is out of the government’s control due to international market fluctuations sparked from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“There’s not much we can do given our economy and the fact that we’re still emerging from a COVID-19 pandemic that has devastated our economy and a lot of other economies,” he told reporters last week.

“And it has caused a significant run up in the debt in The Bahamas and so we are managing our way out of it and hopeful that the volatility that we’ve seen will normalise in the shorter rather than the longer term.”

Mr Halkitis also reiterated that the government was not considering cutting the rate of taxation on fuel imports to help keep costs down as some places like Barbados have done.

“We are not unsympathetic. We are very sympathetic because the nature of our economy is rising energy prices impact the cost of transportation. We import most of what we produce so that means that price impact will be felt through that. The price of gas at the pump for individuals and taxi drivers and bus drivers and all of that and so we are quite aware, but we have to look at everything in (the) complete context of our financial sustainability and building headroom coming out of this pandemic,” Mr Halkitis added.

Comments

M0J0 10 months ago

if your not going to cut the tax your not sympathetic simple.

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pro_test 10 months ago

Nothing is good enough if ain't coming from someone you like hey, this is great news and show a Government working for us. Our last Admin would of tell us car pool or ride bikes.

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realfreethinker 10 months ago

And how do you know the previous government would have said that? You are doing the same thing you.

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tribanon 10 months ago

The very cruel Davis should have long ago publicly announced a Gas Tax Holiday extending at least through the end of this year. But instead he prefers to just periodically huff and puff hot air our way about all that he's doing to help us cope with the high level of inflation that is crushing most Bahamians.

Talk is cheap Davis, and you weren't elected to just wag your tongue. The people deserve immediate, meaningful and effective action from you to help ease their great financial pain.

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ted4bz 10 months ago

What is the point of continuing to gaslight an ignominious and distracted public that is unfocused and already gaslit? This is totally unnecessary. All nations purchase gas wholesale in advance. Generally, the market price of oil per barrel in Feb 22, 2022, was $97.13; at the pumps it was around $4.50. Generally the market price for oil per barrel today is $97.33, the price at the pumps today remains above $5.25. Gas prices rose on the speculation of oil prices which reach the heights of almost $140.00 per barrel resulting in prices spiking above $5.40 in the capital and higher in other places. We need out of these global and political engineered charade (these are not crisis; they are charades).

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sheeprunner12 10 months ago

Sooooooo, how can the Govt get a better deal than a MNC giant like Exxon, BP etc that owns the small fuel operations in the country???? ................. Davis really talking fool this time.

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tribanon 10 months ago

For starters, this PLP government should take away from the very greedy Franky Wilson aka Snake the monopoly he has over fuel imported and distributed within The Bahamas. And it's a cruelly abusive monopoly previous equally corrupt PLP governments allowed Snake to acquire.

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sheeprunner12 10 months ago

Tribanon, are you saying that Snake owns ALL of the fuel distributors in 242? ....... Esso, Shell & Rubis?

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tribanon 10 months ago

The brand distributors are essentially a cartel. They all share the same fuel from the same source and just add their own special cocktail of additive ingredients to justify marketing/selling the fuel under different brand names. Shell brings all the fuel to our shores from abroad. Snake is the big wig in the fuel distribution business in The Bahamas. The monopoly he has should never have been allowed and nurtured by successive corrupt PLP administrations.

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sheeprunner12 10 months ago

This is why things will not change in 242. The Govt is in bed with ppl like Snake & the small man gets crushed

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moncurcool 10 months ago

So rather than the government reduce taxes, the PM tries to hamstring private companies to reduce their prices. And then comes out with a lame announcement about he got ONE company shipping from the Far East to reduce price on their containers. When is the reduction in government expenditure and taxes be announced as the government doing putting skin in the game to reduce inflation by its part?

How about the government do away with all these consultant contracts and let civil servants earn their pay as a means of reducing expenditure? How about all these ambassadors they named the other day be done away with and cabinet ministers do the job they paid to do, as a way to reduce expenditures? How about we cut the size of the gussiemae cabinet?

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realfreethinker 10 months ago

Davis is a clown lying through his teeth. How does the discount on a container affect the price of gasoline, that we do not import from the far east. He is speaking with a fork tongue.

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TigerB 10 months ago

We are holding steady at $5.52 here in Grand Bahamas, but i expect it will move more closer to Nassau prices.

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tribanon 10 months ago

DAVIS, WHY DON'T YOU JUST WAVE YOUR MAGIC 'PM' WAND AND MAKE THE PRICES OF ALL GOODS AND SERVICES SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER FOR ALL OF US FINANCIALLY STRAPPED BAHAMIANS? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

BETTER STILL, WHY DON'T YOU WAVE YOUR MAGIC 'PM' WAND IN A WAY THAT GIVES ALL OF US STRUGGLING BAHAMIANS SOME OF THAT INCREDIBLE FINANCIAL WEALTH YOU, YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR CRONY FRIENDS SEEM TO SO CLEARLY ENJOY?

AT LEAST GIVE US THAT DESPERATELY NEEDED GAS TAX HOLIDAY FOR THE REST OF THIS YEAR TO HELP EASE OUR PAIN AND SUFFERING.

MANY US WISH WE COULD GO TO THE GAS PUMP AND GET OUR VEHICLE FILLED-UP AT THE TAXPAYERS EXPENSE LIKE YOU AND SO MANY OF YOUR CRONIES IN GOVERNMENT DO.

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