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ethio telecom (et) has canceled a plan to finance a housing development that it promised its employees a year ago. The state telecom monopoly that registered interested home buyers, who work at et branches in Addis Ababa, who do not currently have their own home stated that it will not go ahead with the previous plan.
According to the latest annual meeting between the employees and the management, the telecom board has disclosed that the enterprise will focus on financing other developmental projects rather than spending money on housing for its employees.
A year ago the public enterprise registered thousands of employees with the goal of financing homes that would have been constructed by the Addis Ababa Housing Development Agency. According to the previous plan et would pay the cost of the homes and the employees in turn would pay back the enterprise from their salary in the long term. The plan was not only intended for et employees but for other civil servants as well. Hopes were that if this worked out similar programs would help other public servants obtain housing.
Sources told Capital that because the management changed its former strategy, the employees who previously registered for homes at et have been included in registration at the housing agency and the savings bank.
Sources said that the employees have registered for both of the housing schemes, one at the housing agency and the other at the state owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), which is responsible for collecting money that people save for the housing program. In the beginning of the past budget year the Addis Ababa City Administration launched registration for a new housing program which only lasted a few weeks and et employees were not included in it. According to sources, through a special order, CBE, at its Black Lion Branch, begun registering Ethio Telecom employees. “After almost one year delay when compared to other house seekers, et employees have begun saving for their homes at the bank,” sources said.
The employees who requested to be a part of the 40/60 housing scheme requiring house seekers to save 40 percent at the bank are only registered at CBE, sources said.
Others that are registered on the 20/80 scheme, which requires saving 20 percent and the balance covered by bank loans, have registered at the agency and CBE.
Currently, et has over 10,000 employees although not all of them work in Addis. Sources said that only the employees registered under the previous et housing scheme are allowed to be part of the current registration. That means any employees who are new or did not register previously are not allowed to be part of the current registration at the bank and the agency.
Ethio Telecom is currently undertaking a huge expansion throughout the country to boost the telecom and Internet service before the end of the five year plan, which will end in the current fiscal year.
Currently, the expansion project that is being carried out by Huawei has been accomplished.
The telecom monopoly that earned 17.5 billion birr gross profit in the past fiscal year is also supporting other developmental projects in the country. For instance the local expenses of the railway projects that are being undertaken in the capital city and that link the nation to Djibouti from central Ethiopia are supported by revenues generated by et.
According to et management, the revenue from the telecom service will focus on the local developmental projects instead of prioritizing the housing scheme.
Ethio telecom has targeted to earn 27 billion birr in revenue during the budget year, which is the final year of the five year growth and transformation plan.