Lebanon’s Minister of Telecommunications, Johnny Corm, reassured Lebanese that “fuel has been secured for the telecommunications and internet sector.”
The statement mentioned that the “ministry ensured the continuity of the sector and will remain so… especially since it’s a vital sector and its exposure to any problem will have repercussions on all sectors in the country.”
Minister Corm explained that “pricing is still the same in Lebanese pounds, and there is no intention to amend it at the present time.”
“We are trying to find other ways to compensate for the loss without burdening the citizen with any additional expenses,” added Corm.
Head of Ogero, Imad Kreidieh, had warned yesterday that “Lebanon might witness a complete internet outage and isolation from the countries of the world during the next ten days if the oil facilities do not distribute diesel to the three telecom companies; Ogero, Alfa, and Touch.”
Kreidieh noted that these companies are unable to secure dollars that allow them to buy diesel and operate their stations regularly.
He explained that “These companies had previously purchased diesel from oil facilities in Lebanese pounds, and according to a decision issued by the Minister of Energy, the price of diesel is [now] imposed in US dollars.”
“As a public institution, our budgets are in Lebanese pounds, and we do not deal in dollars, and we cannot secure it,” added Kreidieh.
Kreidieh mentioned that they got the approval from the Minister of Energy to pay for the diesel in Lebanese pounds for ten days only, without any guarantees after then.
“The officials must take the decision and not leave it to the managers of telecommunications companies – we feel that we are left alone in this mess,” he added.
Regarding raising the tariffs for telecommunications and the internet, the Head of Ogero said that “before imposing any price adjustment, it is necessary to obtain the approval of the Council of Ministers.”
Kreidieh added that they cannot sell their services at a loss, mentioning that “telecommunications companies are losing today because they are paying their expenses in dollars while we [employees] are getting paid in pounds,” adding that “this will lead to inconsistency between cost and selling price, which will negatively affect the quality of the service.”