Government to revamp defunct UTL

Nelson Bwire Kapo

Nelson Bwire Kapo

, News

Cabinet has approved a proposal by the Ministry of Finance to get a competent investor to invest in Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) in order to revamp the defunct telecommunications’ company.

Following its hazardous financial status, UTL was put under receivership last year. The company was also grappling with chronic debts of over Shs200b.

Now a cabinet meeting chaired by President Museveni at State House Entebbe on April 30, resolved to revamp the company and extend its service licence by 20 years to enable it upgrade its network.

“Cabinet also agreed that Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) allows UTL to expand its frequency band width (spectrum) so long as it can prove that it will use it efficiently to cover the whole country and provide better quality service,” a statement from cabinet reads in part.

“UTL or the resultant entity to become the preferred provider of internet services to all ministries departments and agencies of government by guaranteeing it unlimited access and use of the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) to enhance government shareholding to a range of between 32 percent to 45 percent,” the statement continues.

In January, President Museveni issued directive to all government agencies to write off debts with UTL.

In the letter, Mr Museveni also ordered all government institutions to procure all Internet and other related services from UTL.

He said this will save the company from a group of corrupt officials who ‘sucked’ UTL dry through self-enrichment with huge salaries and had plotted to devalue its assets worth Shs148 billion.

“Therefore, I direct that there should be no more sales of the assets of the company…instead I fully accept Hon Anite’s proposal and direct as follows: All debt owed to government departments and agencies should be converted into shares held by UDC [Uganda Development Corporation] on behalf of government,” Museveni directed.

 

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