Road us­age fees may start in March, says PS

KeNHA wanted to im­ple­ment the toll sta­tions early this year but the plan was sus­pended byTrans­port min­istry for lack of pol­icy

The Star (Kenya) - - News Business - RICHARD MUN­GAI @Richiy­mungai

The Min­istry of Trans­port and In­fra­struc­ture ex­pects to con­clude ne­go­ta­tions with pri­vate in­vestors for build­ing and main­tain­ing ma­jor high­ways by March next year.

In­fra­struc­ture PS John Mosonik said the deals with in­vestors will pave the way for the in­tro­duc­tion of toll sta­tions where in­vestors will re­coup their in­vest­ment from fees paid by mo­torists for use of the roads. The ne­go­ti­a­tions are set to be­gin this month, he said.

Tolling, which will see mo­torists pay for road use in ad­di­tion to the Sh18 road main­te­nance levy per litre of diesel or petrol, could start as early as next year, Mosonik said.

This is in a bid to at­tract pri­vate in­vest­ment into five ear­marked road projects un­der the first phase.

The projects in­clude the du­al­ing and up­grade of the Nairobi-Mom­basa road, Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Sum­mit road and the con­struc­tion of a sec­ond bridge in Nyali to ease con­ges­tion in Mom­basa.

Other projects to be ex­e­cuted through pri­vate cap­i­tal in­cludes the op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance of the Nairobi-Thika Road and the just com­pleted South­ern By­pass.

“The projects re­quire a to­tal in­vest­ment of about Sh380 bil­lion, which is only vi­able through a Pub­lic Pri­vate Part­ner­ship,” the PS said yes­ter­day in a me­dia brief­ing in Nairobi.

In the case of road projects, in­vestors are al­lowed to op­er­ate toll sta­tions in or­der to re­cover their in­vest­ment in the course of the life of the projects.

Kenya Na­tional High­ways Au­thor­ity had planned to im­ple­ment the toll sta­tions early this year but the plan was sus­pended by the Min­istry of Trans­port for lack of an elab­o­rate pol­icy.

Mo­torists were also against the plan, claim­ing tolling would amount dou­ble tax­a­tion since the govern­ment has been col­lect­ing the road main­te­nance levy which is charged on fuel.

The PS said the lead trans­ac­tion ad­vis­ers for the projects in­clude a con­sor­tium of Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers, In­ter­na­tional Tech­nocrats and Con­sul­tants and Part­ners and Deloitte. They will report to the Pri­vate Pub­lic Part­ner­ship Unit, which is un­der the Na­tional Trea­sury. “The PPP model is ex­pected to en­able the coun­try to un­der­take more in­fra­struc­ture projects.”

/ENOS TECHE

In­fra­struc­ture PS John Mosonik at the launch of a pri­vate-pub­lic part­ner­ship project in Nairobi yes­ter­day

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