[ 2012-05-02 ]
Vodafone Ghana ships no money out of Ghana - CEO
Vodafone Ghana CEO, Kyle Whitehill has said his
company had never shipped out a pesewa to the
Vodafone Group since it started operations in
Ghana three years ago.
“Vodafone has never shipped one cedi of Ghana
outside this country and will never ship one cedi
of Ghana in the foreseeable future,” he told Adom
News Editor Samuel Nii Narku Dowuona in an
exclusive interview following his being adjudged
the Telecom CEO of the Year at the recent Second
Mobileworld Ghana Telecom Awards.
This ran contrary to the popularly held notion,
particularly among people in government, that all
the multinational telecom operators in country
have been shipping millions of dollars every week
out of Ghana. But it did not necessarily answer
the question for the rest of the telcos.
Mr. Whitehill said Vodafone had reinvested every
cedi it made back into the Ghanaian economy and he
did not expect to ship money out of Ghana anytime
“We have invested nearly $600million in Ghana in
the last three years and we continue to invest
more just like other telcos. Historically some
other telcos may have shipped money out of Ghana
because they made profits, but not Vodafone,
absolutely not,” he said.
Mr. Whitehill said when telcos make profits,
Ghanaians would always get their share through
taxes, adding that the profitability of the telcos
would also mean they could list on the Ghana Stock
Exchange for Ghanaians to buy shares and benefit
from the success of the telcos through share
prices increases and dividends.
“I think that is on the horizon in the next couple
of years,” he said.
Vodafone had promised at its entry into Ghana to
transform the then seriously-ailing Ghana Telecom
(GT) into a ‘productive and profitable’ company
within a matter of two years, and the Vodafone CEO
said the company had done just that.
He explained that the productivity of Vodafone as
compared to what it met at GT some three years ago
was evident in how 1,400 Vodafone staff now
generated three times the revenue that the 4,500
GT staff generated before the Vodafone takeover.
“In terms of profitability we can look at it in
two ways, one is EBITDA (Earnings Before
Investments, Taxes, Depreciation and
Amortization), which is day-to-day operating
profits. For the first time in the 26 years of
GT-Vodafone our EBITDA margins are positive, but
on the cash side in terms of profit after tax we
are not yet positive,” he said.
Whitehill however stopped short of saying when
exactly the Telecom Brand of the Year expected to
make profits after tax, but sources within the
company had hinted Adom News they could start
making real cash profits this year.
Owing to a number ongoing tax issues involving
Vodafone in India and in the UK, pundits have
expressed concern about what could be Vodafone
Ghana’s behavior towards taxes in Ghana, but
Whitehill laid it to rest saying Vodafone Ghana
met all of its taxes obligations in Ghana and was
actually one of the largest tax payers in Ghana.
He said the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) recently
adjudged Vodafone the “Second Most Prompt Taxpayer
in Ghana,” second only to telecom market leader,
Whitehill stated: “I have two government
appointees on my board and they see all our books
and every pesewa that comes in and goes out so
there is no way we can evade taxes and there is no
way we can ship money out of this country without
they knowing it – we keep very transparent books
with the government and I think we are the most
transparent commercial organization in Ghana right
But he noted that because Vodafone was not
positive on real cash profits, it was not yet
paying annual taxes on profits, and that, largely
confirmed claims that only MTN and Tigo actually
paid annual taxes on profits to government.
Vodafone Ghana won an unprecedented six awards at
the recent Second Mobileworld Ghana Telecom
Awards, and Mr. Whitehill said “it felt like
Vodafone really has properly arrived in Ghana on a
public basis - it felt great to be recognized by
your industry peers and it felt like we have been
recognized for the work and investments that we
have made in Ghana.”
Mr. Whitehill assured Ghanaians Vodafone would
continue to make more of such investments in Ghana
to ensure that Ghanaians got world class
communication experience and value for money.
“We got addicted to winning and we want to win
again so Ghanaians can only expect the best from
us going forward,” he added.
Vodafone Ghana is 70% owned by Vodafone
International PLC, and 30% for the Government of
Source - Adomonline.com
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