Business News of Tuesday, 5 September 2017
Expresso Telecom is expected restart full operations as Celltel within the next three months. The original owners, Kludjeson International Limited say they have advanced moves to put the company back on a strong footing and ensure it regains its enviable position in Ghana’s telecoms space.
Kludjeson International has taken over the company after over 20years of shareholder tussle in and outside the courts which has largely resulted in company’s dwindling fortunes evident in the continuous decline in its subscriber base over the years among others.
Its total subscribers have decreased from its record high of 394,051 in 2008 to 40,111 as at the end of March 2017 and 23,264 as at the end of April 2017 with a market share of 0.06%.
Kludjeson International Limited have however revealed plans are far advanced to invest about $300 million dollars to turn around the company’s fortunes.
New strategic direction
Kludjeson International Limited said it has secured partnership deals with several reputable multinational technology firms that should reposition the firm as a huge force to reckon with in the telecoms space.
The Executive Chairman, Dr Prince Kofi Kludjeson said the company is to re-adopt its original name Celltel with a new strategic direction. He spoke exclusively to Joy Business Editor, Emmanuel Agyei.
He said, “The new Celltel is going to be the best company in Ghana because we are going to provide a Wi-Fi strategy. We are moving to all the districts call it One-village One-WiFi.”
“The President has a beautiful vision. One district, one factory yet there is no technology to drive those companies. So we as a Ghanaian company are going to provide that,” he said.
“Agreements have been signed and we have $250million budget to roll out the new strategy and it’s all going very well. We have Cisco leading, we have Google, we have Starlite from India for solutions. There is also Facebook monetizing, as well as Apple, Foscam. We’ll create jobs, we’ll create wealth” Dr Kludjeson noted.
“A lot of people have contacted me. It’s all already underway with engineers are in Ghana working. We’ve also met the NCA. They assisted us in the design. We take them there once they come to approve the process of technology. NCA is very supportive” he said.
Kludjeson International meets the staff
The original owners of the company met the concerned workers of the company in the fourth week of August. The Leader of the concerned staff, Joseph Kojo Nkansah said they are happy with the outcome.
“They assured us of our salaries. So for us, the concerned workers, all we are interested in is for the company to run and have our salaries paid.”
“We’ve so far found out many things but we are surprised that the people leading us that is the current management and specifically the General Manager pretend not to know that,” he said.
“If I were the General Manager, I will resign knowing that I am not working for anyone. Otherwise, I will go behind the scenes and find who I am supposed to be working for and we have tried to push them but us Ghanaians as we are, they say they don’t know and we leave it there. So we are hopeful that in the coming days, the group that says it owns the company will come in and start the operations,” he said.
Payment of outstanding remuneration
According to Mr Nkansah, plans by the original owners to pay their outstanding salary and social security contribution arrears couldn’t have come at a better time.
He said, “For us, it is exciting news. If someone is saying he is the owner and is giving us hope, then we should be happy. As employees, we are only interested in who the owner is now because we are our rights are being abused.”
“The company must run and so those who think are owners can go to the boardroom and fight. But for us employees, we are not interested in supporting anyone,” he said.
“We are however surprised that no one has come out to challenge Dr Kludjeson who said he is the owner. But if anyone is going to challenge him, we don’t care.
“What we care about is that the company must run and our salaries paid – we’ll take it, laugh to the bank and take care of our families and build our careers,” he concluded