Tanzania: Govt to Pay Off Debt and Reclaim Zain Stake in TTCL

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Tanzania is to pay $6.8 million it owes the Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL) as one of the many steps towards getting the firm firmly back on its feet.

"As the government now moves to repossesses 100 per cent stake in the firm, we are determined to provide financial support to the company," Minister for Communications, Science and Technology Prof Peter Msolla said, adding that the Treasury is in the process of paying the company, following completion of reconciliation of accounts.

Prof Msolla said that TTCL's long years of seeking credit without success will come to an end as early as July when it can secure loans from both local and foreign lenders.

The delay to access credit is caused by the ongoing verification exercise in a process to acquire the 35 per cent stake of Zain Tanzania Ltd, that was offered back to the government in July, last year.

TTCL acting chief executive Said Said told The EastAfrican that inadequate financing was hindering the company's productivity and that it was still struggling to recover about $6.8 million outstanding invoices from various government institutions.

Mr Said added that the firm seeks to apply for a $180 million loan under government guarantee, a sum that would stabilise the firm and enable it to execute its business plans.

When TTCL was under the management of SaskaTel International between 2007 and 2009, it had asked for government guarantee for about Tsh180 billion ($133 million) capital, according to sources.

Finance and Economic Affairs Permanent Secretary Ramadhan Khijjah told The EastAfrican that the recovery of the debts was going on.

TTCL is handling the fibre optic cable in Tanzania, and already countries such as Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Zambia, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi and Zimbabwe have asked to be connected.

TTCL currently provides voice and data communication services to over 300,000 business and residential customers in Tanzania.

The company also provides network services to other licensed telecom operators.

After connecting to the fibre cable, telephone and Internet charges went down by 80 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.

The East African