While the TATECO Credit Union yesterday celebrated the re-opening of its gas station at Tenth Avenue, Barataria, it expressed fears that police plans to block off a nearby access road could block maxi taxis from patronising it and so hurt its endeavour. The credit union appealed to the Government for help.
TATECO president Kester Sealy said, “The police have hinted they want to close this road.” He said TATECO had originally acquired the station as a going concern on January 19, 2012 to diversify its investment portfolio, but six months later had halted operations to let a four-person team do a feasibility study under the guidance of the National Petroleum Marketing Company (NP). Saying TATECO had to deal with many regulatory bodies, Sealy said, “It was not an easy ride. We held the faith.”
However, lamenting a possible road closure, he appealed for help to Ministry of Energy Parliamentary Secretary Nicole Olivierre and to Minister of Public Utilities Robert Le Hunte, who was due to speak but had to be elsewhere.
Olivierre said she had spent the past year helping TATECO re-open the facility, and she shared its relief and joy. “For your credit union to take a step into an area where you had no experience and to persevere augurs well for your organisation. Your board is committed, dedicated and tenacious.” Saying everything happens in its own good time, she said TATECO was re-entering the market at a time of higher profit margins than before.
“Maintain your faith and all will be well.
“I will see what intervention I can make regarding the impending closure of this road. I’ll try to assist you, so this venture is not wasted after all your difficulties.”
Le Hunte’s adviser Anthony Bartholomew said the country had 130 credit unions with 600,000 accounts, with credit unions accounting for four per cent of TT’s financial sector.
NP chairman Sahid Hosein told TATECO the gas station’s success would depend on the quality of service its employees provided to drivers. He said everyone somewhere sometime had bad experiences of poor service, but the very continuation of one’s employment could depend on the service provided.
“We are in an extremely competitive environment.”
The speeches were followed by a ribbon-cutting, plaque unveiling and the first filling-up of a car, all done by Olivierre.