Taxes for debt to help Ghana Telecom

28 Jul 2003

The Ghanaian government says it has struck a deal with national PTO Ghana Telecom (GT) under which the telco will be allowed to use taxes and VAT payments to help reduce GHC50 billion (USD5.88 million) of debt owed by ministries, departments and agencies. GT’s chief executive Oystein Bjorge said there were difficulties in recognising all the telephone numbers which were in its books, but that it hoped to have payment of government debt ‘updated and cleared by the end of the third quarter’. Mr Bjorge said his company had thus far retrieved around GHC20 billion of the GHC100 billion it is owed by customers; it recently embarked upon a mass disconnection exercise to eradicate bad debtors from its books.