Tele starts digital tax payment facilitation via tele birr
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) gears up to issue a request for proposals (RFP) to complete the sale of a 40 percent interest in Ethio Telecom in two weeks time.
It is to be recalled that a request for expressions of interest in the partial privatization of the telecommunications giant was released by the MoF on November 16, 2022, which ran open for one month up until December 16, 2022.
Eyob Tekalegn, State Minister of Finance, told Capital that a number of businesses have expressed their interest in purchasing stake from Ethio Telecom. However, the state minister was reluctant to disclose the exact number owing to confidentiality of the matter. Nonetheless, Eyob stated that a request for proposals would be floated in two weeks.
Notable companies including, Etisalat and Orange are said to have keen interest in investing in Ethio Telecom.
The Ministry, for the privatization process, has chosen Deloitte Consulting Limited as a transaction advisor to provide advice on the matter. In the past, Deloitte was also notable for the work it did in valuing the assets of the telecommunications firm.
The investment teaser known as “Project Nigat” – Partial Privatization of Ethiopia revealed that the most successful public company was valued at roughly 80 billion birr. However, Frehiwot Tamru, CEO of Ethio Telecom critically dismissed the figure claiming that the company has more assets than the 80 billion birr valuation.
Previously, the Ministry, which is in charge of the follow-up process along with the Public Enterprises Holding Administration Agency, issued an expression of interest in mid-June 2021, which closed after a month, and invited interested parties to submit proposals by bringing best practices in terms of operations, infrastructure management, and next-generation technological capabilities. Even though the offer was scheduled to be announced in January 2022, the government of Ethiopia decided to delay the privatization process due to recent events and swift macroeconomic changes on a global and national scale.
Ethio Telecom, under the direction of the CEO has “continually improved” financial results, according to the MoF, and a delay “would result in higher value for all the parties concerned.”
In order to increase the contribution of the private sector to Ethiopia’s economy, the government had established the framework for the privatization of state firms under the Public Enterprise Proclamation No. 1206/2020. As a result, Ethio telecom became one of the 27 mammoth public enterprises under Ethiopian investment holding. Additionally, expression of interest for the third telecom operator is also expected to be floated on February.
In related news, Ethio Telecom and the Ministry of Revenues have entered into a collaboration agreement that will enable the Ministry of Revenues’ customers to pay taxes via the telebirr digital payment system- a collaboration that officially kick started on Thursday, February 2, 2023.
Through the partnership agreement, which was signed by the two institutions, the Ministry of Revenues will be able to collect income taxes, private pension fees, and federal tax payments.
Additionally, as previously stated, the telebirr digital payment will; assist customers in receiving clearance and receipts upon real-time payment, and allow them to transfer past-due payments and make partial payments, as well as help them avoid fees associated with penalties for delays in updating taxpayer information on the Ministry of Revenues’ server.
28.2 million clients, 112 master agents, 98.8 thousand agents, 25.5 thousand businesses, and 615 support centers have all been added to the telebirr digital payment system thus far. Additionally, the platform has been integrated with 18 banks for bank to telebirr money transfers and with 15 banks for telebirr to bank money transfers with over 263 billion ETB in transactions made thus far.
Furthermore, on January 30, 2023, Ethio Telecom signed agreements with Zergaw Internet Service Provider for the delivery of cloud solution services, Kulu Network PLC for the provision of Elf music streaming services, and Shedli Trading PLC for the delivery of teledrive mobile database services in order to jointly offer the services to customers in need.
It is said that customers can store massive volumes of materials, including pictures/photos, videos, SMS, contact information, and other crucial items, using Teledrive Mobile Database Service and retrieve them when needed.
Elf music mobile app is a brand-new platform that enables users to buy their preferred music through the Elf music app, enjoy/listen to the music whenever they want without using mobile data, and access online radio programs. The organization has constructed a cutting-edge and dependable cloud centers telecloud services in order to answer the continuously rising demands of private and governmental institutions for database and cloud services.