The government of Tanzania reportedly owes state-backed national PTO Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) more than TZS7.2 billion (USD501,000) in unpaid communication services bills, making it hard for the telco to improve its financial position and roll out services to underserved areas. The telco’s chief executive officer, Mr Said Said, is quoted as saying that his company needs TZS322 billion (USD230 million) to invest in the equipment necessary for the planned expansion, and to compete with rivals in the domestic market. Mr Said told the country’s minister for communication Prof Makame Mbarawa that payment of its bill would allow TTCL ‘to improve and extend our services and coverage in the country.’ The minister has promised to ‘work’ on the matter.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, TTCL has been struggling with its finances for several years. Indeed, in October 2009 the nation’s Parliamentary Committee on Infrastructure requested that the government bail out its ailing national fixed line PTO, arguing the company could be close to collapse.