Ogero secures enough fuel to guarantee services until June, says minister

21 Jan 2022

Lebanese state-run telco Ogero has secured sufficient supplies of diesel fuel to power its generators to support internet and voice services for five months, reports Naharnet quoting the telecoms minister Johnny Corm. The statement followed the disruption of internet services in half of Beirut at the weekend due to diesel shortages, with Ogero’s Imad Kreidieh threatening to resign over the lack of capabilities at the Ministry of Telecommunications, blaming bureaucracy for supply delays. According to Mr Corm the ministry’s budget has not yet been finalised, but he expects to present it early next week.

Ogero and Lebanon’s two state-owned mobile operators, Touch and Alfa, are facing multiple crises including power and fuel shortages – with diesel for generators expected to account for up to two-thirds of their total expenses this year – and the inability to purchase foreign telecoms network equipment following the collapse of the local currency. Cable theft is also a major, growing problem according to Minster Corm, speaking to Reuters earlier this week, while adding that as many as half of Touch/Alfa employees were failing to turn up for work. Furthermore, urgently needed price adjustments are not possible without cabinet approval, but ministers have not met for three months amid a dispute over a probe into Beirut’s huge port explosion in 2020.

Lebanon, Alfa (MIC 1), Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT), Ogero Telecom, Touch Lebanon (MIC 2)