BUJUMBURA September 16th (ABP) – The restructuring phase which had placed ONATEL on the list of companies to be privatized for about 10 years is among the causes of its bankruptcy, according to the director general of ONATEL.
He announced it during a meeting that the Burundian Prime Minister, Alain Guillaume Bunyoni, held on Tuesday, September 14, to analyze the state of payment of the dividends of the public companies in which the government held shares.
Thus, ONATEL was prohibited from investing. ONATEL suffered from having a huge staff for a State-owned company, according to its director general; a staff which was estimated at 705 employees in 2007, which weighed on the payroll which was felt from 2008 when it reached more than 5 billion, recording negative results.
He also mentioned the competition from other companies in this sector which was not followed by the development of the telecommunications sector to cope. He called on the government to remedy that during this period of recovery by modernizing the company’s production facilities.
According to him, currently, the situation has improved a little because there are 424 employees but the results are still negative. Of the 424 employees, 116, about 50%, are over 50 years old, 51% are uneducated employees and those of A3 level of studies.
In that regard, the director general of ONATEL has proposed that a social recovery plan is needed to voluntarily retire the elderly and workers and hire more qualified personnel for the current technological requirement.
Indicating that the wage share remains very high for a telecommunications company, at ONATEL this share is estimated at 80% while for such a company this share should not exceed 30%. He noted that the income from the treasury is doing very badly because the income continues to decrease.
Explaining the causes of the rout of that company, he mentioned the very tough competition since the liberalization of this sector, ONATEL could not support it, because, it spent almost 10 years on the list of companies to privatize with ban on investments weighing on the company’s finances.
The other constraint mentioned concerns the non-separation in the management of production lines.
For him, it would be necessary to separate the management of the production lines which are fixed telephony, mobile and Internet.