CONGO-BRAZAVILLE: SOTELCO'S AG SAYS IT'S IN GOOD SHAPE DESPITE DIFFICULTIES BUT IS MAKING LOSSES
The Administrator-General of Congo-Brazaville's incumbent SOTELCO, Blanchard Oba made "state of the company" speech designed to reassure the doubters. He said said the company was now on track despite the difficulties encountered when it was set up. He was referring to the difficulties of the corporate culture inherited from the former Office National des Postes et Télécommunications (ONPT).
He was at pains to point out that the company's new governance structure allowed it autonomy from the Government despite the Government being both its 100% owner and main investor. He said:"The state will not intervene in the day-to-day running of the company but will participate at Board level".
He underlined the obsolescence of much of the company's equipment and that the organisation has a monthly salary bill of FCFA 670 million. This salary bill had to be set against monthly revenues which only amount to FCFA150 million. Currently there are 1517 employees and their average age is 47.
Despite these difficulties, Oba pointed out that the company did not have salary arrears and had invested FCFA3 billion in 2003. This had helped create an earth station at Pointe-Noir, a new link between Brazzaville and Oyo, and a fibre ring in Brazzaville itself. It had also put in place pre-paid cards and these had helped reduce the number of pirated telephone lines. He deplored the existence of grey market operators and the unfavourable interconnection agreements entered into since Sotelco ceased to be part of OPT.
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