Government has reached an agreement with telecom company MTN Uganda to renew its license for a period of 12 years.
MTN will pay sh372 billion for the license that commences on July 1, 2020.
The telecom company said in a statement on Saturday that “MTN Uganda and the Commission will conclude the signature of the License Agreement within the coming days”
Wim Vanhelleputte, CEO of MTN Uganda, said, ” We would like to thank HE the president (Yoweri Museveni), MoICT (ITC ministry) and UCC (regulators) officials for successfully concluding these license renewal discussions.”
The company’s license expired in October 2018. There was a reported attempt to renew at the cost a half of what the company will pay.
The reported first fee was rejected by President Yoweri Museveni with sources saying the head of state said MTN was making a lot of money from Uganda and the fee was too small.
Since then, the license “was variously extended to allow conclusion of renewal negotiations which have been ongoing for close to 2 years”, MTN said in a statement.
This comes at a time when the government is squeezed for money as taxes collections dwindled due to coronavirus shutdowns. It comes in handy to support Uganda’s sh45.5 trillion budget when the government expects more taxpayers to struggle to pay.
MTN Uganda provides telecommunications services under a Second National Operator License for the operation of a telecommunications system issued on 15 April 1998 for a period of twenty years. The License expired on 21 October 2018 but was variously extended to accommodate conclusion of renewal negotiations which have been ongoing for close to 2years.
MTN Uganda is now pleased to announce the conclusion of negotiations for the renewal of its Second National Operator license which expired in October 2018.
MTN has fulfilled all conditions precedent to the license, including the payment of a total sum of US$100 million as license renewal fee for a period of 12 years commencing 1 July 2020.
MTNU and the Commission will conclude the signature of the License Agreement within the coming days.