| 27 February 2024, Tuesday |

Government’s squandering continues, and a scandal for leasing contracts

Many buildings and offices in the governmental palace are empty. Spaces inside the Grand Serial are nearly enough for all the concerned ministries if spending is rationalized by the state.

However, the current authority has renewed leasing contracts for buildings in order to run its governmental and administrative affairs.

Who among the Lebanese does not know the scandal of the renewal of renting a building belonging to a hotel company for the State Shura Council? The state spent on this abandoned building for three years around 2.799 billion LBP, equivalent to $1.866 million before the currency collapse.

Starco building, which is owned by Prime Minister Najib Mikati is based in the capital’s center. Mikati himself, who called for rationalizing spending, leases offices in Starco to more than one ministry, one of which has a leasing contract in US dollars equivalent to $640,000 US annually.

The total amount spent by the ministries for the Starco building, is equivalent to $1 billion LBP annually.

Here are the major buildings that the state has spent billions of pounds to lease it:

The General Directorate of the Council of Ministers, has leased 5 properties, at a cost of 444 million LBP.

Council for Development and Reconstruction has leased 2 properties, at a cost of 730 million LBP.

The Ministry of Telecommunications has leased 63 properties, most of which are rented from LIBAN POST, which Is owned by Najib Mikati and his brother, at a cost of 303 million LBP.

The Court of Audit, the party that is supposed to hold those who squander money accountable, has leased one property, at a cost of 1.260 billion LBP.

The cost of property rented for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is 15.217 billion LBP annually, and for the ESCWA building is $11 million annually.

The Ministry of Public Health has leased 30 properties at a cost of 515 million LBP.

The Ministry of Economy has leased 3 properties, at a cost of 862 million LBP.

The Ministry of Environment has leased 2 properties at cost of 521 million LBP.

The Ministry of Finance, which is supposed to collect the citizens’ money, has leased 41 properties at a cost of 5.8 billion LBP.

The judiciary is required to hold the state accountable and preserve the public money, but the Financial Public Prosecution preserved the notice submitted by a group of lawyers against the state under the pretext that the rental of these buildings was issued by decrees of the Council of Ministers.

The state owns more than 200 properties in Beirut, most of them are empty, while the other properties are leased for nominal amounts for the beneficiaries of some rulers.

  • Sawt Beirut International