South African Telecom giants MTN have bowed to pressure and agreed to pay USD100M approximately Shs373.500Bn in license fees.
The announcement was made on MTN Uganda Twitter handle noting, “MTN has fulfilled all conditions precedent to the license, including the payment of a total sum of US$100Million license renewal fee for a period of 12 years commencing 1st July 2020. MTN and the Commission will conclude the signature of the License Agreement within the coming days.”
It should be recalled that when MTN’s License expired on 21 October 2018, Uganda Communication Commission had agreed to the payment of USD50M but before the deal was concluded, President Yoweri Museveni halted the license renewal on grounds the fee set by UCC was minimal and ordered UCC to collect USD100Mn.
However, MTN Uganda protested the new fee, prompting President Museveni to close the Telecom and asked them to leave Uganda if they weren’t ready to pay the USD100Million. The President further directed MTN Uganda to trade on Uganda Security Exchange, a move that would allow Ugandans buy shares in the Telecom.
In its statement, MTN Uganda admitted the license debacle noting that although their license had expired, it 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 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,” read in part the statement.