The government of the tiny African nation of Togo has pledged to intercede to rebuild its ‘bankrupt’ state-owned national operator Togo Telecom and subsidiary Togo Cellulaire (Togocel), pumping in funds to regenerate the carriers. Under the regeneration plan announced by the post and digital minister Cina Lawson, the state will upgrade the PTO’s network, providing improved services, affordable broadband internet access, better day-to-day management and a tighter control of spending. Additionally, the government is rebranding Togocel and overhauling the cellco’s whole infrastructure to make it competitive in a modern telecommunication industry. The government sees the regeneration plan as essential, saying that a successful telecoms industry is vital to achieve its goals for a successful digital economy.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Togo Telecom is on the verge of bankruptcy, having failed to reverse a trend of poor financial results that started in 2008. According to the findings of a state-led enquiry into the operator’s ongoing malaise, the government attributed Togo Telecom’s decline to the ‘poor management’ of its chief executive Sam Petchetibati Bikassam and systemic failure by the council that was set up by the government to monitor the telco’s performance and protect the interests of the state. The state alleges that numerous questionable financial transactions have been conducted in the past six or seven years, all of which have left Togo Telecom with a CFA100 billion (USD190.1 million) black hole in its books.