The Vodafone-Telecel deal approval has created a mixed reaction among the staff of Vodafone, as they express uncertainty about the outcome of their fate, after the acquisition is finalized.
The staff are confident at the same time anxious about this new takeover as the National Communications Authority (NCA) on Monday, January 16, 2023 announced that it has consented to the Vodafone-Telecel deal in which Vodafone Group sells off 70% of its majority shares to Telecel, while government continues to keep the 30% minority shares.
The magnanimity of the announcement in itself has made many employees anxious at the same time confident that the sale is for the better, some staff who have decided to remain anonymous said.
“I mean in truth, many employees are a little anxious, and considering the enormity of the news, it’s understandable. However, I think this is probably a good turn of events.”Vodafone Anonymous Staff
Responding to why they are confident about the takeover, one of the employees stated that Telecel promises to scale up the company especially, with much attention given to MTN lately.
“Telecel will come with much needed investment at a time when we really need it as a company. It’ll give us the opportunity to upgrade our systems and expand our coverage, especially now that national roaming is greenlit with MTN.”A Confident Staff at Vodafone
Another staff added that assurances are that, their jobs are secured since no notice has reached them yet about the company laying off its workers.
A worker with a political perspective explained that the current government wants to avoid a repeat of the AirtelTigo job loss situation, and therefore wants Telecel to retain all current employees until the government’s term ends in 2024.
“Maybe job cuts will start from 2025. But that is even speculative.”An Employee at Vodafone
Though information circulating has it that there have been discussions about job cuts in Ghana, especially with the acquisition of Vodafone Ghana by Telecel, which is estimated to be over GHS500 million, the workers are assertive that job security is very likely a key reason for NCA’s approval of the acquisition.
As a result, the staff believe there will be no job cuts within the short-term – at least over the next two years.
In the medium to long-term however, the workers speculate that Telecel might decide to achieve a certain level of efficiency through staff leanness.
Initially, the sale was not approved by the NCA due to regulatory requirements not met. Additionally, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, the sector Minister stated that Telecel was not capable of effectively managing Vodafone Ghana because it lacked the technical and financial muscles to do so.
Following that, a more satisfactory information on Telecel’s technical and financial capacity was provided the regulator by both buyer (Telecel) and seller (Vodafone) which led to the approval of the sale with certain conditions.
It remains however uncertain what these conditions are, but anonymous current employees of Vodafone Ghana stated that the scope of the conditions has been significant.
NCA stated while announcing the approval of the deal that Telecel did not only show proof of its technical and financial capacity to run the company, but also demonstrated readiness to expand its 4G footprints and rollout some innovations in the Fintech sector.
Meanwhile, according to the staff, there is still much work to be done until the takeover is finalized. For now, everything continues as usual with no changes, they said.
A little Background on The Buying Company – Telecel
Telecel is an international telecommunication company operating primarily in Africa and founded in 1986 by the late Congolese businessman Miko Rwayitare.
The company is reputable for its prowess in providing digital business/enterprise solutions – B2B, B2G and B2P, which has also been the focus of Vodafone Ghana for a while now.
Telecel takes over Vodafone Ghana at a time when the latter is the second largest operator in Ghana with about 7.4 million customers and the weak number two in the mobile money market. Vodafone is also the biggest fixed telephony operator in the market.