Government has defied recommendations from state minister for Privatization, Evelyn Anite and handed over crippling Uganda Telecom (UTL) to a Nigerian firm.
Early this year, government started a process to find a potential investor partner to recapitalize government’s UTL, but the procurement process hit a snag after UTL administrator Bemanya Twebaze clashed with minister Anite on the firm that should be given the multimillion dollar deal.
Whereas Anite in her Cabinet Memorandum CT (2018) paper titled “Update on the status of sourcing a strategic partner for Uganda Telecom Limited” recommended that the tender be given to Mauritius Telecom as the best option available despite offering the lowest assets of $45m, cabinet in its latest decision has given the tender to a Nigerian firm, Teleology Holdings GIB Ltd.
According to Bemanya’s evaluation report of all the potential investors, the best 3 companies that should be considered for the contract depending on the offer is Hamilton Telecom ($70m), Afrinet Communications Limited ($67m) and Teleology Holdings ($60.5m). The other bidders include; Mauritius Telecom, Baylis Consortium and Neubacher Montage.
Indeed, cabinet reportedly sat on October 01 chaired by President Museveni agreed to defy the report from Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) that had recommended that only Mauritius Telecom was suitable for the contract. The cabinet agreed to offer the tender to Teleology Holdings at $60.5m.
UTL’s total liability is currently $147m (Over Shs550bn). From this $147m debt, government owned $53.61m, NSSF-$2.84m, ESATD/PTA Bank-$8.91m, UCECPS-$3.34m and $77.86m for Others.