TTCL Corporation has embarked on a restructuring drive that will see over 550 employees retrenched and 762 million US dollars (over 1.7tri/) invested in the next five years.
TTCL Board Chairman, Omar Nundu told the Parliamentary Public Investment Committee (PIC) here yesterday that under the envisaged investment, the corporation seeks to expand its network countrywide and increase its market share, which is currently negligible.
TTCL, which changed from a limited firm -- Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) -- to a corporation effective, last February, has increased its market share from 0.85 to 1.3 per cent in the past two years.
Mr Nundu remained optimistic that with adequate investment in network expansion, the public organisation has great potential to increase its share of the market to double digits in the next five years.
He, however, decried capital constraints, which he said are impeding the corporation progress. He put TTCL's capital at 21bn/- as compared to some players in the market, citing Hallotel which has so far invested over 500 million US dollars (about 1.2tri).
Mr Nundu said the corporation has huge outstanding debts from its clients, especially the government institutions, pleading with the committee to help in pressurising the debtors to settle their bills.
TTCL Director General, Waziri Kindamba said business in telecommunications sector is highly profitable but requires huge investment as well.
"Our (telecommunications) sector requires heavy investment...we must seriously invest," he said, asking the committee to help the corporation in its endeavours to get concessional loans to beef up operations.
He asked the government to invest adequately in the transformation of the corporation, assuring that the management was determined to increase revenues and control operational expenses.
The Committee, after deliberating on TTCL business strategy, instructed the management to devise a comprehensive strategy of collecting its debts and paying its creditors.
Presenting the directives, the Committee Chairman, Mr Raphael Chegeni, ordered the corporation to improve its services and draw up a strategic plan to cope with all its business challenges.
He decried the corporation's high operational expenses, ordering speedy restructuring of the firm because, "You still have too many employees...your operational expenses should remain within the legal limit of 60 per cent, maximum."
The Committee further directed the management to intensify the marketing department of the corporation to effectively promote the organisation and expand the business scope.
Debating, the PIC members challenged the corporation to improve its services to attract more customers, saying even its slogan "Rudi nyumbani kumenoga," is not realistic.
Mr Willy Qambalo (Karatu-CHADEMA) challenged TTCL to increase creativity in its operations if it has to compete in the market. He cited TTCL mobile money service which remains almost non-existent.
Meanwhile, TTCL management was given a 14-day ultimatum to submit detailed explanations on the position of TTCL-Airtel partnership.
Mr Chegeni said many controversies still surround the deal, with some reports claiming that the mobile telephone service firm is 100 per cent government owned, the claims that Airtel has refuted.
"All is not well on this (TTCL-Airtel) deal. You are given fourteen days to bring us, through the Treasury Registrar, a comprehensive report on the position of this partnership," the TIC Chairperson ordered TTCL Board Chairman.