Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) has assured Ugandans that Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) will leap out of debt under its administration.
“I have no doubt in my mind that we shall achieve this as government is committed to ensure that UTL continues to trade profitably,” URSB registrar general Bemanya Twebaze said.
He was speaking to journalists on Tuesday in Kampala shortly after meeting UTL staff to put in place a strategy that will ensure the company not only becomes profitable but also very competitive.
“As we speak, UTL is heavily indebted and my responsibility with the team is to ensure that we get out of this debt, that it survives but most importantly, that it runs as a going concern profitably,” Mr Twebaze said.
URSB is currently engaging all stakeholders, including more than 400 UTL staff. Top on Mr Twebaze’s agenda is to ensure that creditors get maximum returns and that debtors comply and pay what is due to UTL.
URSB took over the operations of UTL on April 28 following its appointment as the provisional administration.
Ms Evelyn Anite, the State minister for Finance in charge of Privatisation and Investment, last week said putting UTL under an administrator would offer a platform for debtors and creditors of the government-owned firm to engage.
UTL’s woes came to light last year when Parliament’s probe committee revealed that the telecom company was debt-ridden to a tune of Shs128b.
Besides the debt, fat salaries and fraud that have crippled the company over the years; part of the company’s problems stemmed from the fact that Libya African Portfolio Green, then majority shareholders based in Tripoli, Libya were managing UTL with less consultation and unknowing of the business situation in Uganda.
In a recent report, findings of an audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers, a UK headquartered multinational audit firm, put UTL’s liabilities at Shs700b, while Mr Stephen Kaboyo, the board chairman of UTL recently put them at Shs500b. This is compared to the assets which stand at just Shs248b.