Rwandatel’s top management has denied reports suggesting that the deteriorating political situation in Libya has had a significant negative impact on its activities as a telecoms operator in Rwanda.
The responses were part of an exclusive interview granted by Rwandatel’s Chief Executive (CEO) Issiaka Maiga to Business Times. In the exclusive interview Rwandatel boss has denied reports that Lap Green Networks, the investment arm of the Libyan Government which is the majority owner of Rwandatel, must have had its activities hampered by the ongoing chaos in Libya.
“While I cannot comment on the political uprising in Libya, I would, like to clarify that most of our revenue is derived locally,” Maiga said. .
Various media reports have alleged that Lap Green is owned or directly controlled by Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi who is now fighting an insurgency following riots that rocked the oil producing nation.
“I have no information regarding personal investments by the Libyan leader,” the added.
Rwandatel is accused by Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) for lack of compliance to license obligations.
The mobile operator says that it is committed to honoring its obligations and that where gaps can be identified “these will soon be sorted out”.
The Rwandatel boss, however, conceded the fact that last year saw competition moving on to a much a higher level, a situation that eventually exerted strong pressure on GSM and mobile internet tariffs. “Despite this, both our voice and data subscribers increased.
We also registered a growth of 20 percent in our data revenue and are satisfied with the performance so far,” he explained.
The CEO’s revelations, however, are in sharp contrast to those from RURA that says that Rwandatel lost out both to new kid on the block, Tigo Rwanda, within the voice segment and to market leader MTN within the data segment.
Asked to comment on the effect of the United Nations freeze on Libyan government public assets that is being effected by various member countries, Maiga did not wish to be dragged to comment on such burning issues.
“I am not in a position to comment on the current Libyan political situation.”
Reports had indicated, that even prior to the riots rocking Tripoli, Lap Green was wading through a rough patch. In response Maiga trashed such reports and said that Lap Green has various options at its disposal to sustainably run its operations.
“There are various options available for us to explore including vendor financing, syndicated facilities and even equity raising,” he said.
“Our interest is not only to make super profits, but we are also concerned about providing quality affordable services to the Rwandan economy. In this regard, we may not have reported overall net profits but we are satisfied with the growth in the number of subscribers in all our revenue streams.”
Rwandatel is upbeat that very soon its fixed costs will be covered implying future profitability through what it termed as “winning strategy” it intends to unleash on the market. Despite such assurances, analysts however, contend that competition is set to be more intense within data segment that is seen as Rwandatel’s key revenue base.
“Profits are derived through growing subscriber base, strong Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) growth and management of costs. These are some of the key strategies under implementation by Rwandatel”.
Miaga further explained that; “Our satisfaction is not only measured in terms of profit but also from providing quality services to the customer.”