Since March 2017, the Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) have been struggling, it started even before then, but at that time. The state started to intervene, by the next month in April 2017. The state had already put the company under provincial ownership. Meaning, that the state took it over and has tried to find new ownership of this company. Something it hasn’t succeeded in. This all happened because of the Libyan crisis in 2011 and the frozen accounts of Libya Post Telecommunications & IT Company (LPTIC), which had a majority ownership in the UTL until that point. However, they didn’t get all out before March 2017. Even as there was a set-up a new board in the Company in fall of 2016. Even, with all of this, the UTL continues to live, but by mere state injections and not because it is viable for business.
Even after a year in May 2018, the Cabinet announced that they were looking for new owners, alas, meaning that the state wouldn’t have the major stake in the company. Why I am saying all this? Well, the news this week that Minister Evelyn Anite and government sources states this:
“The source added that the government had created incentives to make the company more attractive. They include managing the backbone, wiping all the liabilities off the balance sheet, and that the government would take responsibility for the pension liability of more than Shs 30 billion to former UTL employees. Other liabilities that the government would take care of include the regulator’s fees and taxes. “All these wipe off the balance sheet and handed it [UTL] to you, clearly you can start from a clean slate.” the source said” (URN – ‘Gov’t offers to pay Shs 500bn UTL liabilities’ 20.04.2019, link: https://observer.ug/news/headlines/60467-gov-t-offers-to-pay-shs-500bn-utl-liabilities).
With this in mind, the state would clean the slate of the company, an embattled one who is fighting in a competitive market. Where it is directly competing against the mighty MTN and Airtel. Therefore, the UTL needs an decent upgrade, as it has been in a stalemate for years now. Where the lack of investment in the company and the debt it have already.
We can clearly see that the company is not so viable. The lack of interest and value is shown as the President even needed to direct the state ministries to use the UTL Internet Services and mobile phone services by a letter in January 2018. That is why, a year after that, the government sources are trying to connect it even more and juice it up. Even if it has little to offer.
The UTL doesn’t look solid or offering something of strong value for a buyer. As it has a strong competition and they are on point when concerning the telecom infrastructure, which the UTL haven’t the ability to afford to do or invest in. Therefore, the next owner has to pick up, where the Libyan owners left off. Since, the state haven’t done anything else, than keeping it alive. Peace.
Uganda Registration services Bureau (URSB) has today entered into an MoU with National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to enable information/data sharing on companies registered with URSB and bio-data for NSSF members.
URSB is mandated under cap 210 of the Laws of Uganda to deliver a number of registration services aimed at facilitating and enabling the private sector growth hence leading to a better investment climate in the country.
URSB inter-alia carries out all registrations required under the relevant laws and maintains registers, data and records on registrations affected by the bureau and acts as a clearing house for information and data on those registrations.
Registrations carried out are; Businesses and companies, legal documents, Intellectual Property Rights, Civil matters (births, deaths, civil marriages, adoption orders & single status letters) and Insolvency
Information shared with NSSF also enables the social security fund to ascertain employer contributions an compliance because compliance is one of the strategic areas that NSSF focuses on.
The signing ceremony was held at the URSB head office at on Georgian House Kampala between NSS Managing Director Mr Richard Byarugaba and The Registrar General Mr Bemanya Twebaze who appreciated the partnership and said Government has always enjoined institutions to partner so as to eliminate bottlenecks to service delivery.
Synergies like this are among the drivers of service delivery through complementing each other and providing a platform for sharing best practices, experiences and establishing networks,” Mr Bemanya said.
He added; “The National Development Plan 11 enjoins all the public agencies to collaborate and augment each other for better service delivery.”
Mr Byarugaba also appreciated the move and thanked URSB for hosting the event. “This information is vital when we are processing member’s benefits especially the survivor’s benefit which in some instances require additional validation of member’s data.”
The partnership is also envisaged to help NSSF reduce on their turnaround time for benefits processing because URBS will now avail the Fund with additional bio data on its members including details on next of Kin, date of birth among others.
The Partnership with NSSF isn’t the first for URSB, because earlier partnerships have already bore fruits. Together with KCCA and URA, URSB is running a TREP project, which has seen the organization register many business names in Kampala, and has now devised plans to roll out to the countryside beyond Kampala.
Other Partnerships with UIA and Posta Uganda have seen URSB centers housed within the two institutions, a move that has eventually reduced congestion at the URSB head office and also saved peoples’ time and costs on transport to reach the URSB head office for registration services.
URSB also has offices in Mbarara, Gulu, Mbale and Arua.