Some staff of AirtelTigo have appealed that government hasten processes to take over the company, as lack of investment from the shareholders is weakening the company’s core operations. According to them, for the past two years the shareholders have shown little or no faith in the telecommunication company – thereby halting investments in all critical departments. The development has taken an adverse toll on some critical operational setups, including system upgrades.
Some staff told the B&FT that they have not received any salary adjustment in the past two years, even though they have consistently met all targets set for them over the period. In addition, they complained that for the first time staff did not receive any bonus for the end of year 2020.
Government confirmed in October last year that it was in advanced discussions with Airtel and Tigo for the transfer of AirtelTigo shares to the government of Ghana – along with all customers, assets and agreed liabilities.
But five months on the agreement is yet to be signed and staff are worried about their fate – as the fortunes and goodwill of the company retrogress due to the lack of investment.
Some of the staff in an interview with this paper said they wish government would accelerate the processes.
“This is a very profitable company and staff work very hard. Every year for the few years we have had challenges, there isn’t any department that you can say is underperforming; that is why we are still alive. We have serious challenges, but we do well to meet our targets to ensure that data and calls face no interruption or breaks.
“That is why we want to hear from government early on its plans for the company, because if care is not taken there might be little left to salvage,” a staff-member said on condition of anonymity.
Another worker said: “There are a lot of employee welfare issues that need to be settled. It is important because motivation is needed for them to give of their best. We want to appeal to government that they pay some attention to welfare issues, because for two years many people have had to suffer in silence”.
Some staff were of the view that there is enough capacity for AirtelTigo to regain its enviable position as one of the most reliable telcos in the country if the right investment is injected into its operations.
“The service our customers are receiving today can be far better. For those of us who work on the network, we have been managing to keep things going – but our worry is that if something does not change soon we will live in fear of serious network challenges. The current state of our network is classified as bad by us, but we have ensured that it provides the right and consistent end-to-end results for customers.”
Meanwhile, sources at the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation told the B&FT that one of the reasons the agreement is yet to be signed is due to government’s inability to settle on the modus operandi to be adopted in running the company. Options being considered by government include offloading the shares to a new entity or merging with another company.