Tanzania: Parliament Committee Wants Ttcl Audited Over Unclear Debts

Dar es Salaam — The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called for a thorough management audit of the Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) to establish areas of reform that would improve efficiency in the state-run firm.

The committee wants the government to increase capital and resources provided to Stamigold Company to make it capable operating after years of loss making.

The recommendations are contained in the analysis of the commit-tee on the 2018/19 Controller and Auditor General (CAG) report that was presented in the Parliament in Dodoma on Friday by its vice chair-man, Mr Aeshi Hilaly.

Mr Hilaly said TTCL required major reforms in order to improve its efficiency which is demonstrated by the market share the company was holding in the telecom industry.

TTCL holds one percent of the market share in a list toppled by Vodacom (30pc); Tigo (27pc), Airtel (26pc), Halotel (10pc), Zantel (3pc).

"TTCL's market share has prompted our committee to put emphasis in making major changes in company's operations.

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"The company has potentials and ability to increase its market share and efficiency," he said.But according to latest Tanzania Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) statistics, TTCL's market share has increased to two percent.

TTCL, which had about 711,000 customers last year from 429,000 in 2017, saw its market share increase from 1 per cent to 2 per cent.

Zantel has a 3 percent market share, while Smart has a market share of just 0.3 percent, according to latest TCRA statistics.

The 2018/19 CAG report shows the company received qualified audit opinion following failure of the company's board to timely receive and adopt the audit report question-ing recommendations suggested in the certificate.

"By doing so, the company interfered with the independency of the National Audit Office of Tanzania (Naot) contrary to Section 13 of the Public Audit Act 2008," he said.

He mentioned the CAG queries contained in the certificate as Sh1.75 billion difference identified in the systems used by the company for revenue collections, (CVBS and SUN).

Mr Hilaly said it was also recommended that Sh11.102 billion the company owes customers as well as Sh91.43 billion customers owes the company lacked supporting documents.

He said TTCL also didn't make reconciliation of various debts and that the company was found with weaknesses in storage of account book and preparation of audit reports.

"The challenge of storage of account books within TTCL was a high risk area in improving efficiency of the company.

However, failure of the board to adopt the audit report in order for the CAG to sign on time contrary to stipulations of the law has a major accountability impact," he said.

Regarding Stamigold, Mr Hilaly said the committee has recommended an increase in the company's capital and that future plans should involve registering the company at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) to give Tanzanians an opportunity to own the firm.

He said the ministry of Minerals should collaborate with the Treasury Office to ensure the company gets enough resources including qualified innovative servants.

Without providing more details, he said the committee has called on the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to speed up investigation of various claims filed against the company for action.

"The company's board of directors and the management should ensure they submit required documents to the CAG for verification of the company's debts," he said.

Mr Hilary said failure to provide documents to the CAG for verification of Sh52.5 billion it owes clients as well a similar amount various companies owed the company led to the firm to be served with an adverse opinion in the 2018/19 fiscal year.

The CAG's report has also put of emphasis on sustainability of the company.He said the committee's analysis revealed that Stamigold managed to reduce its loss making from Sh16.4 bil-lion in 2018 to Sh2.80 billion in 2019.

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