The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Benin has ordered the dissolution of struggling state-owned mobile operator Libercom, the GSM cellular arm of fixed operator Benin Telecoms, reports Agence Ecofin. Furthermore, the remaining group will be restructured, with the assets of its wholesale network services division Benin Telecoms Infrastructure transferred to a public sector company, whilst two private sector partners will be appointed for the maintenance of the infrastructure and for the management of the company, the report adds. Benin Telecoms Services (using the Be.Telecoms brand) will continue to operate its range of fixed and fixed-wireless voice and internet/data services, including 4G LTE fixed-wireless, whilst previous plans to privatise the service operator have been scrapped.
An ad hoc committee led the restructuring process, chaired by the Minister for Digital Economy & Communication and the Minister of Finance. The decision for an ‘early’ dissolution of Libercom was unsurprising, given the cellco’s woeful underachievement, with the company existing on the brink of bankruptcy for several years due to poor financial management. Benin Telecoms Infrastructure was also reported to be in financial difficulty.