New TTCL hands dividends, parastatals told to pay up

22May 2019
Henry Mwangonde
The Guardian
New TTCL hands dividends, parastatals told to pay up

ONLY 40 out of the 253 parastatals and state-owned companies have remitted dividends to the government this financial year, it was revealed yesterday with President John Magufuli ordering the rest to pay up by July.

Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL) director general Waziri Kindamba (2nd-L) hands over to President John Magufuli a dummy cheque for 2.1bn/- in government dividends at a ceremony in Dar es Salaam yesterday. Others are Works, Transport and Communications minister Isack Kamwelwe (4th-L) and TTCL board chairman Omar Nundu (5th-L). Photo: State House

President Magufuli also directed Treasury Registrar, Dr Athumani Mbutuka to inform the institutions and copy the Chief Secretary about the matter.

The Head of State was speaking yesterday during an event to a 2.1bn/-dividend from the Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation (TTCL).

“TTCL is leading by example; all public entities should follow. There is no way the government owns about 253 companies but only a few should be giving back,” he said.

President Magufuli also ordered all ministries and public institutions to support TTCL by connecting to its services, saying that if the corporation makes a profit, all Tanzanians will benefit for it is an entity that is owned by Tanzanians.

Dr Magufuli also directed TTCL Director General Waziri Kindamba to hand to him names of ministers and senior government officials who are using TTCL lines for him to know.

Other institutions should embrace the trend by paying out dividends to the government, the president emphasized, citing the fact that many developed countries went on the same path.

The event was also used to mark the official beginning by the corporation, which has retained its company brand abbreviation, to offer services countrywide. The president communicated via video conference with regional commissioners for Mwanza, Simiyu, Songwe and Tabora.

He directed various government institutions and senior officers to use TTCL services as a way of ensuring that it remained a profit making entity for the benefit of Tanzanians.

In his remarks, TTCL CEO Kindamba said the president’s directives on various reforms to be taken by TTCL have helped the company to achieve what they have so far.

He said the president has shown great love to the company, highlighting that its profit level has risen from 119bn/- to 167bn/- this year.

“Our aim is to be the hub of government communication and we are determined to do that as in the past few years we have managed to undertake various initiatives that have enabled us to reach this far,” he elaborated.

President Magufuli also approved a request by the Works, Transport and Communications minister Isack Kamwelwe who asked that funds directed to the Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF) for construction of towers be given to TTCL.

Currently TTCL pays between 700m/- to 800m/- for using other networks’ towers.

This was the second time TTCL was giving out dividend to the government after giving out 1.5bn/- last year.

In 2017, the legislature approved a new rule that transformed TTCL into a fully established state owned corporation.

 TTCL changed to a corporation, making the previously poorly performing company compete with large private telecom companies in the market.

The Tanzania Telecommunication Corporation Act, 2017 repealed the Tanzania Telecommunications Company Incorporation Act, 2002 to make provisions for the establishment of the Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation, management of strategic telecommunications infrastructure as well as commercial and economic viability of telecommunications services, among others.

For the past 15 years, TTCL was owned by the government with 35 per cent and Bharti Airtel of India having 65 per cent. But the joint venture came to an end in June 2016 after the government took the shares by 100 per cent after paying 14.7bn/- to Bharti Airtel.