BTL Rejects Bankruptcy Claims Amid Opposition Criticism Over Telecom Switch

BTL Rejects Bankruptcy Claims Amid Opposition Criticism Over Telecom Switch

The Belize Telemedia Limited (Digi) has rejected the UDP’s claims suggesting that it is on the verge of bankruptcy. The telecommunications company says the statement is libelous and seeks to undermine the impressive turnaround that has occurred since 2020. The company says that it stands firm in its financial strength and robust growth trajectory, which can be found in its published annual reports. The UDP’s statements were based on the Ministry of Health’s recent switch of telephone providers from BTL to Smart. The move had raised many eyebrows given the Prime Minister’s connection to Smart and the fact that BTL is state-owned. Since then, both the opposition and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize have blasted the decision and called on the government to revert the decision. Today, NTUCB President Luke Martinez elaborated on the call for GOB to return to BTL’s services and the need to safeguard the investments of the Belizean people. 

Luke Martinez, President, NTUCB: “First ministry who would make such a decision. Fortunately at this point for us that is not a done deal. And so there is a window of opportunity for us to make a strong appeal to, well demand to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet for them to understand the importance for us to safeguard our national assets. When we look at the social aspects of such decision we have workers at BTL who we represent and at Social Security by the same token, but there is more a national interest in terms of the social protection that Social Security offers. So it’s important for us to gauge these types of decisions. Of course, in our letter, we are concerned that such move could be tantamount to conflict of interest given certain interests with individuals and SMART. So we have to go back to the fact that in 2021 we took the government to court over- it could be after that – the Microsoft 365. And the concern that we had at that time is that there was a breach of the Finance and Audit Act. Unfortunately the judge reminded us that even though we were successful in pointing that out the Finance and Audit Act does not have any remedies. So you see the continuous breaches and signs of breaches of the Finance and Audit Act. So in our letter we’re reminding the government, look you have a good governance commitment let’s remain focused on the governance commitments and strengthening of these oversight bodies.”

According to BTL, from 2020 to 2023, it has achieved annual revenue growth, reflecting its effective business strategies, customer-centric approach, and market leadership in the telecommunications sector.

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