State defends plan to tax motorists twice for road
Roads require about Sh140bn annually for maintenance, says PS
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure yesterday defended the planned introduction of user fees on major highways, a development which will see motorists pay double levies.
Motorists pay Sh38.41 fixed taxes and levies to the government for every litre of petrol they buy.
The taxes include Sh18 for the Road Maintenance Levy, Sh19.89 (excise duty), Sh0.40 for the petroleum development levy and Sh0.12 goes to petroleum regulatory levy.
Infrastructure PS John Mosonik, however, said roads require about Sh140 billion annually for maintenance against an average of about Sh50 billion raised from fuel levy every year. The funds, he said, are not enough to maintain roads across the country.
“There has been a debate that if fuel levy can finance this, the answer is no. The total revenue coming from fuel levy is about Sh50 billion and that one is strictly for maintenance. If you look at the network that we have today all over Kenya, it is about 161,000 kilometres,” he said.
He insisted motorists will from next year have to dig deeper into their pockets.
Mosonik said there are no plans to shelve the fuel levy which was increased from Sh12 to Sh18 in the current financial year, saying the two will run concurrently.
The first toll station is expected on Thika superhighway and Southern bypass as early as next year.
“Within one or two years we should be able to put in place because the road is already in place. So it is actually about putting up the tolling facilities. We assure you we are going to bring the latest technology,” Mosonik said during the ongoing Kenya Public-Private-Partnership roads investor conference in Nairobi.
“We have been discussing this thing for the last three years, but you have seen the reality coming on board right now,” he said.
Mombasa-Nairobi highway will have two stations; in Mariakani and at the Machakos turn-off, while the Nairobi-Nakuru highway will have three, at Rironi (Limuru), Naivasha and Lanet.
The entire project, Mosonik said, will be fully operational in five years.
He said the government is putting in place policies to guide the process, including tariffs to be used.
“Within three to four weeks it (policy) should be able to have been finalised,” the PS said.
Roads with toll stations will not benefit from the road maintenance levy, Kenya National Highways Authority Director General Peter Mundinia said.
The toll stations will be build and operated by private innestors who will channel the funds to a toll fund to be managed by the Treasury.
Kenyans also pay 1.5 per cent of the cost, Insurance and Freight of car imports to the road development levy.
The government is collecting Sh38.41 for every litre of petrol sold, from which Sh18 goes to the fuel levy managed by the Kenya Roads Board.