Controversy Brews as WIOC’s Takeover Plans Raise Questions of Fairness and Entrepreneurship


Dear Editor,

There is an old saying,”When your neighbour house on fire, wet down yours”.

This is so relevant when one sees what the British born Dominican and WIOC General Manager, Gregory Georges is doing to an indigenous Antiguan at the Friars Hill Gas Station.

In a Press Release Georges said that WIOC intends to take over all the gas stations that are WIOC owned or leased.

At the moment all of these are operated by Antiguans.

So how does this gel with the World Boss’s assertion that he wants his people to be entrepreneurs?

Is the Boss speaking with forked tongue?

Government is the majority shareholder of WIOC with 3 ABLP Directors in Hilroy Humphreys, Hon. Maria Browne and Abena St. Luce.

If the government’s position as stated by the World Boss is that Antiguans must be entrepreneurs, how is a Minister of his Cabinet ignoring this directive?

This will give WIOC an absolute monopoly of wholesale supply and retail sales.

This atrocity and advantage has not gained much traction because Larry Gonsalves has light skin.

But Philbert Mason, the Spencers and the other operators of WIOC Service stations are darker.

They are next on the Gregory Georges Agenda.

They better wet their house and be prepared.

The Venezuelan Deputy Foreign Minister is the Chairman of WIOC. I hope the local Venezuelan Ambassador is keeping him informed of the injustice happening here with their asset.

Venezuela is looking for friends around the world. They do not need more problems.

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  1. Writer the press release from WIOC was specific to the friars hill station. WIOC’s annual report makes clear:
    “.. Major rehabilitation is also planned at one of the retail service station sites owned by the company, as well as a change in the business model of that station.
    The refurbishment and relaunch of the location is anticipated to result in significant improvement in earnings.”

    Seems you forget that wioc has A&B shareholders. As one, I am looking forward to the transformation of that station, bringing it into modern (eg. modern payment options) times.

  2. To the writer of the article, Why make an irrelevant statement about the birthplace and descent of the General Manager? Locals as you mentioned are directors, and the Antigua government is the major shareholder.
    Do you not think, if going by your reasoning, that if the Director is only doing this to cripple a businessman because he doesn’t like Antiguans, Then the Antiguan directors, government and shareholders would prevent such happening?
    Then you are hoping the Venezuelan entities to step in, because in your view, a British born Dominican manager who answers to Antiguan directors etc, has unjustly taken a leased gas station away from an Antiguan? And this will then make Venezuela look bad on the world stage so the Venezuelan ambassador should make an intervention?

    It is like you are writing a story for a soap opera.

    Be real.

  3. Tenman: Why is Maria Browne on the West Indies Oil Company Board? She is a Cabinet Member. She has more than one Ministry to contend with. Is that not a conflict of interests. Only inna Antigua. Heaven help us all.

    • Tenman would never highlight the amount of ABLP parliamentarians with conflicts of interest in companies at home or abroad @ Wharf Rat – why would he bring to light the UNDUE INFLUENCES of the party members he’s voted for?

      Either he doesn’t understand the SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS of it to the future development of the country, or he CONDONES these type of unrestricted and uncontrolled practices.

      Thankfully, people have seen that his mindset has always been against the progression of the country and WITNESSED his blind faith in following the ABLP’s greed, avarice and self-enrichment policies.

    • @wharfrat this may surprise, you but I agree with you in terms of her time better spent elsewhere. However I don’t see the conflict of interest. Shareholding votes placed her there. The same government she is apart of placed her there hence to talk about coi shows you don’t understand the term . Is it your fear that she will end up pushing laws that will benefit wioc where government is a major shareholder? Brethren in essence (for now)wioc and government is the same hand.

  4. There is always something more than the information that this corrupt, crooked and inept government lets us know. I agree with the writer in highlighting nationality because many of our top positions are occupied by foreigners. It is time for Antiguans and Barbudans to take back their country.
    I’ll just bet that Georghes (How much did the DAWG say he’s making? $40,000?) was given a call and ordered to make a statement. Like Telemacque, Atlee Rodney, Badu, Georges and others, there is a puppet master that pulls their string. Must be the money.
    Laws are being broken all over the place because the entities in place just do not function. ONDCP, Police, CID, Immigration, you name it, the compromise among civil servants runs deep. Nevertheless, the secrecy and duplicity will be uncovered and then we shall see. Antigua and Barbuda is CORRUPT, CORRUPT, CORRUP. From top to bottom.

    • Interestingly, I agree that too many of the top positions within Antigua & Barbuda, particularly in the government/State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), but also in the private sector, are held by non-nationals (I refer to those who are not native Antiguans – whether or not they came here as minors, married a daughter or son of the soil, migrated as adults, etc., and became citizens).

      Also interestingly, this is a situation that I have observed for quite some time, and which was always a cause for concern.
      In the letter, a few names of individuals were highlighted, and further particular organizations which seem to be functioning ineffectively (my paraphrasing), according to the author.
      Like I said, I’ve been observing this for quite some time, and some of those names HAVE LONG BEEN in the mix, some have been shifted from the ‘limelight’ to the ‘shadows’, leadership of SOEs and private sector organizations still included.
      What the author did not highlight, perhaps has forgotten, or perhaps did not know, is that THIS IS NOT NEW! He/she seems to suggest that this is a trait of the current administration, but THEY ALL did the same thing – ALP, UPP & ABLP… I can’t speak about PLM because I was too young to understand then! In fact, the current heads of the Port Authority, Customs, ONDCP, were ALL APPOINTED/INSTALLED/HIRED by the UPP Administration. In addition, the then head of the Antigua & Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA), also non-national, was appointed under UPP. I’m not sure whether he’s still in that position or not because he’s one who, among others that appear to have slinked into the shadows. Perhaps their clouts have been wrested away (because it seems they were so well installed, that to uninstall them would be problematic), through reorganization of functions, such as with the advent of the Citizenship by Investment Unit and so forth.
      For ages, the senior management/leadership in our commercial banks were non-nationals (ex-pats was the common term), obviously that refers primarily to the non-indigenous banks, which incidentally appear to be withdrawing one by one 😳. Although hotels are generally private businesses, most of them if not all, also falls under this umbrella.

      It is UNREASONABLE to think that nationals are QUALIFIED IN EVERY FIELD, and we don’t need qualified non-nationals to step in and lead/manage. THERE IS BENEFIT TO GETTING OUTSIDE TALENT!
      But, where is the thrust to ensure that COMPETENT/QUALIFIED nationals understudy these leaders so that a national can take over the leadership – within added timeframes? Other Caricom member states do this; Barbados for sure, and I think St. Kitts, perhaps others, but you get my point. That’s partly why those islands are not jumping on the ‘free movement bandwagon’ either – that’s a topic for another day!

      But nobody in Antigua wants to have this conversation! Political suicide they say!

      That’s also partly the reason we can’t retain (or attract) NATIONAL TALENT in this country and in particular, in government! It’s partly why our students go off to study, and don’t return (even if it means ignoring/abandoning/repaying scholarship bonds). Brain drain they call it? 🤔

      Again, nobody wants to have this conversation! Politically suicidal move! Mmmm

      We need to stop making everything in this country a political issue, stop blindly supporting political parties and condoning their foolishness; at the same time stop crying down and attempting to hinder good initiatives, because it’s not a suggestion of our preferred party. For pete’s-sake, ALP/ABLP is/was not ALL BAD, plenty bad but not altogether. Neither is/was the UPP ALL GOOD – they too were plenty bad, but some good! Get real people!

      By all means, CRITIQUE, ASK HARD QUESTIONS, SUGGEST WAYS TO IMPROVE PROGRAMS AND POLICIES, for the benefit of the WHOLE Country – if it is a good policy or program, just implement the **** thing – simple as that!

      At the end of the day, we will all WIN!

  5. The writer of this article referred to Mr. Georges as a British born Dominican but I would like to inform the writer that Mr. Georges grand father is Antiguan. His grand father migrated to Dominica from Antigua to teach and started his family there in Dominica. I am related to Mr. Georges and we both have roots in Antigua and Dominica. I read the article and felt I had to correct the writer’s implication that Mr. Georges was none Antiguan.


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