By Mark Kawalya
Uganda Telecom Limited’s (UTL) management officially handed over the administration of the company to Uganda Telecommunications Corporation (UTCL) after fulfillment of the terms specified in the Asset Sale and Procurement Agreement (APA).
Accordingly, the new management will take on all of UTL’s previous liabilities, totaling Shs165 billion. In addition, UTCL has inherited UTL’s assets, which include buildings, land and network infrastructure.
Ms. Evelyn Anite, the Minister of State for Investment and Privatization, mentioned that the majority shareholders in UTL were Libyans, whose resignation crippled the telecom operations.
“The president gave me instructions to save UTL, which I have successfully done. The shift from UTL to UTCL is a great milestone in the country’s development given that the government is going to be in full control of the company without involving investors.”
The Ministry of Finance owns 60 percent of UTCL, while the Ministry of Information, Communication, and Technology National Guidance owns the remaining 40 percent stake in the company.
UTCL’s board chairman, Dr. Grace Ssekakubo, said the focus for the new administration is investing in modern technologies such as the 5G+ network, skilling internal staff, and developing a digital ecosystem that will offer more services to clients and give them value for money.
“The board knows what Ugandans need, so we are ready to provide affordable and reliable telecom services across the country. This will enable our customers to get value for their money. We are inheriting the company with all its old staff on a contract of six months, they are therefore required to prove their worthiness within this period so that they are considered for longer-term contracts,” Dr. Ssekakubo said.
According to Uganda Telecom’s administrator, Ms. Ruth Sebatindira, payments under the Asset Sale and Procurement Agreement (APA) will continue until June 2023, and the role of the current UTL administration will cease upon the completion of payments and the settlement of residual matters.
According to PC Tech, UCTL is to take over UTL after accepting to pay Shs356.8 billion, which will offset some of the firm’s liabilities.