Editorial: The Need To Elevate The National Road Fund To An Autonomous Gov’t Agency
THE NATIONAL ROAD Fund (NRF) has been instrumental in contributing funds to the Ministry of Public Works into carrying out road rehabilitation, maintenance and construction. In 2022, the NRF contributed over US$35 million toward the national effort.
HOWEVER, INVESTIGATION CONDUCTED has proved that, if the Road Fund Management’s proposed plan is executed properly, the entity could raise over US$50 million annually, which could speed up road projects around the country.
AN ANALYSIS OF potential revenue from a toll system on selected highways project by the NRF puts income generation at US$4,998,528 (four million nine hundred ninety-eight thousand five hundred twenty-eight United States dollars) per annum.
THE NRF TOOK into consideration only three routes: Bo Waterside, Buchanan and Ganta corridors, estimated 1,749, 1,871 and 6,306 vehicles and motorcycles plying the three highways, respectively, on a daily basis. According to the NRF analysis, a motorbike would be charged US$1, light vehicle US$2, and heavy duty vehicle US$5. The total sum estimated to be collected on a daily basis stood at US$17,356, on a monthly basis, US$416,544, and US$4,998,528 on a yearly basis.
THE NRF HAS, in this vain, produced a preliminary estimate on potential revenue for prudent decision about the potential possibilities to the toll-supported option. The detailed NRF analysis also considered potential revenue estimate from axle load control on roads throughout the fifteen counties, projecting US$8,624,880 per year.
IN COLLABORATION WITH the Ministry of Transport, the NRF put the estimate of annual vehicle registration at US$3,185,070. The projection of additional levies on drivers’ license fees was put at US$3,538,215.
ALL THESE AMOUNTS combined summed up to over US$20 million. When added to the amounts generated from the road user fund being accumulated through amounts added to the prices of gasoline and fuel, which generates over US$30 million annually, the NRF would be generating over US$50 million per year.
THE NRF, THROUGH its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Boniface Satu, has emphasized the need to elevate the institution to an autonomous agency, which will in turn provide the independence needed to implement the road agenda and guarantee the trust of international partners to intervene with the necessary assistance.