Dar es Salaam — The Tanzania Telecommunication Corporation Limited (TTCL) has set aside Sh640 billion for projects aimed at expanding and upgrading its network around the country.
The revelation was made on Friday by the firm's board chairman, Mr Omari Nundu, during the Korea-Tanzania ICT Cooperation seminar held in Dar es Salaam.
The money would be spent on rolling out 3G or 4G mobile sites countrywide, replacing power and air conditioning systems, upgrading the transport network and submarine cables, improving rural communications, among others.
"TTCL will also spend Sh26.38 billion on operations and business support systems, including upgrading the mobile money platform and the billing system," Mr Nundu revealed.
According to Mr Nundu, TTCL will also spend $5 million on corporate customer projects and an additional Sh11 billion on value added services such as public cloud solutions, anti-spam systems, cashless and paperless services as well as network security enhancement.
During the occasion, Mr Nundu hailed the Republic of Korea for being at the forefront of bringing socio-economic change to the country through its significant contribution in the Information and Communication Technology sector.
He said TTCL had come along way and in spite of past challenges, the firm was now on solid footing. He cited as an example the establishment of the e-payment gateway system and growth of T-Money, its mobile money facility, among others, for improving the firm's competitiveness.
Mr Nundu revealed that in the 2017/18 fiscal year the corporation's profits grew by 20 per cent to Sh28 billion. As a result, the state-owned telecom was on track to paying dividends to the government, he said.
"There are rival firms that rarely pay dividends to the government even though the state owns over 40 per cent of their total stake," he said, calling on Tanzanians to take pride in the firm as it was in their best interest.
Speaking at the seminar on Tanzania's strategy for customs efficiency and the use of Tanzania Customs Integrated System (TANCIS), Tanzania Revenue Authority's director of Tax Payer Education Richard Kayombo said the authority's adoption of web-based transactions had cut down bureaucracies, the amount of paperwork and corruption.
He hailed the Korean government and the country's firms, including the Customs Uni-Pass International Agency (CUPIA), for helping to set up the TANCIS system.
"We have seen rapid improvement in efficiency and transparency. In the past, clearing agents used to collude with our clients to lie to TRA, but since the adoption of the system we have gotten rid of corruption as people at the opposite ends of a transaction may not necessarily know each other," Mr Kayombo noted.
Earlier when opening the seminar, Korean ambassador to Tanzania Song Geum-Young said the Korea-Tanzania ICT Cooperation was testimony that the two countries' 26 years of diplomatic cooperation was growing from strength to strength.
The event was attended by, among others, Zanzibar House of Representatives' Budget Committee chairman Mohammed Mohammed, TTCL director general Waziri Kidamba, director for Communications in the ministry of Infrastructure, Communication and Transportation of Zanzibar as well as representatives of the Korean business community.