Uganda Telecom (UTL) creditors have given the legendary telecommunications company 6 months to clear outstanding debts amounting to over sh 500 billion.In a closed door meeting between over 100 UTL creditors with the current management body the Uganda registration services bureau, NSSF one of the key UTL creditors noted that the company had been given enough time to clear all outstanding debts,thus extending the repayment period would be important for the administrator URSB.
The Government repossessed UTL earlier this year from the previous private proprietors that clearly mismanaged the telecommunications company as clearly revealed before parliament by Hon Nadala Mafabi. Over the years Libyan based investors that possessed over 69% of the company shares pulled out, URSB as appointed by Government took over the company administration to address all challenges with the current revenue boosted to over shs 4.5b steadily growing at a 5% rate.
According to UTL’s Otaremwa Otuhumirize the company has since gone through a cost optimisation process where old unusable machinery has been sold off with spare parts for new machinery acquired.
Over 94% of the current Uganda Telecom creditors including Airtel Uganda, Infocom,Nokia,NSSF among others voted in favour of the extension of the repayment period within which the company can repay back over UGX 533b in debts.
Furthermore the compliance manager NSSF Anorld Mpairwe stated that ” We agreed to give them more time because we do not want to rush them.It is important that the administrator(URSB) gets the most viable option for UTL’s recapitalisation to clear creditors by May next year”.
Previously, Uganda Telecom’s debt portfolio stood at UGX 940 billion but almost half that amount was claimed to be fictitious as reported here after thorough auditing and the current debt stands at the current UGX 533 Billion, mostly owed to some of the named parties above. The main culprit however remains the government that falls short of its debt obligations to UTL mainly through some of ts ministries and agencies but discussions are underway to get this amount cleared..