According to the corporate services executive, Mrs. Cynthia Lumor, those monies could have been invested to enhance better customer experience.
Speaking at a media and stakeholder engagement in Takoradi, Mrs. Lumor revealed that a total of GH¢ 61, 089,405 was budgeted to take care of fuel and electricity last year.
“But at the end of the year the erratic power supply and the hikes in utility tariffs pulled additional GH¢ 25, 275, 803 from the company’s resources,” she added.
“In 2014, what we thought we were going to spend was GH25, 633,083 for fuel alone for our offices and cell sites. But because of the extra fuel we had to buy because our sites generators had to work for extra hours, we ended up spending GH 35,047,341 which we had to get GH9, 414,258 more than we had budgeted,” Mrs. Cynthia Lumor explained.
On electricity she said “we had budgeted for electricity a total of GH¢35, 456,322 but when you remember the number of times we had to endure utility tariff hikes in 2014 we ended up spending GH¢51, 317,867.”
In all, instead of the total budget of GH¢ 61, 089,405 for electricity and fuel for the year, MTN spent a total GH86, 365,208 due to the erratic power supply.
Mrs. Cynthia also added that the cost of maintaining their cell sites is increasing “because the longer hours generators had to stay on is fast diminishing their lifespan because these machines were not made to stay on for that longer. Now generators which are supposed to work for two years are now working for only six months.”
In 2014, MTN also recorded a total of 845 fibre cuts and over 2,897 battery theft cases across the country.
Despite these challenges, Mrs. Lumor stated that the company is poised at maintaining quality network standards and useful innovations even as its subscriber base has jumped from 13.8 million in 2014 to over 14.2 million as at March 2015.