The Ugandan government says that state-owned fixed line and mobile operator Uganda Telecom Ltd (UTL) is on the road to recovery after years of struggling with a UGX700 billion (USD191 million) debt burden. The government regained control of the telco earlier this year after ousting majority shareholder LAP GreenN, having accused the Libyan investment firm of mismanaging UTL. A report from The Monitor says network availability at UTL has been increased to 81%, from 75% when the interim administration took over in April, and there are plans to raise this to 95% in the next six weeks. Moves are also being made to recoup up to UGX15 billion which is owed to UTL by government agencies for the provision of telecoms services, with the funds set to be spent on network improvements.
The country’s Minister of Investment and Privatisation Evelyn Anite, who is supervising the overhaul process at UTL, came in for criticism last week after suggesting that all Ugandans should own a UTL SIM card to support the nationalised telco.