KAMPALA- Taleology Holdings GIB Ltd, a Nigerian firm, has won a contract to revamp Uganda Telecoms Ltd (UTL), beating State-founded Mauritius Telecom that had earlier been favored to take the deal.
UTL plunged into bankruptcy due to mismanagement, high debt portfolio, and dwindling subscriber base and since April, the government has been in a process of revamping the telecom.
However, according to Daily Monitor, it has emerged that the decision to hand over the contract to Taleology Holdings GIB Ltd was reached at during a Cabinet meeting held on October 1.
The paper also reported that Taleology won the contract after staking $71m (Shs268b) against Mauritius Telecom’s $45m (Shs167b).
The decision followed a September 24, 2018 presentation to Cabinet of a financial capability report by an ad hoc committee chaired by Gen Moses Ali, the First Deputy Prime Minister.
Gen Ali is said to have told ministers during the October 1 meeting that his sub-committee endorsed the Nigerian firm because it was the highest bidder and going against this procurement rule would put Uganda at a risk of costly litigation.
Under the deal, Taleology would own 67 percent shares while the government remains a minority shareholder.
The Nigerian firm will take over UTL’s Shs148b assets, tax waivers, an extended frequency as well as Uganda’s flagship multi-million dollar national backbone optic fibre infrastructure and manage it for 20 years.
The Cabinet decision has overturned earlier submission Investment minister Evelyne Anite ’s who had earlier confirmed Mauritius Telecom as the new investor to take over the operations of UTL.
Ms. Anite wanted the government to compel the administrator, Mr. Bemanya Twebaze to handover UTL to Mauritius Telecom, arguing that it was the only credible company cleared by the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA).
UTL was a government parastatal and controlled 100% of telecommunication business in Uganda before the liberalization of the sector.
However, years of mismanagement and lack of government attention alongside a mountain of debt to Shs700b against company assets of Shs148b distressed the company.
The Libyans withdrew and the government immediately placed UTL under receivership.
About Uganda Telecom
UTL is Uganda’s first company to own a full telecommunications operator license, having evolved from the earlier East African Post and Telecom Corporation in the 1970’s, and the Uganda Post and Telecom Corporation in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
UTL was incorporated in 1998 as a Public Limited Liability Company and has since embarked on an unrivaled evolution.
The telecom also provides voice and data communication solutions that include fixed telephony, mobile telephony, ISP and Data services having launched the Next Generation Network that delivers all voice, data and even video services over one network over IP.