•Proposed formula would provide a sustainable base for the Kenya Roads Board to secure a bond to fund other projects.
•KeNHA received Sh26.6 billion, Kerra Sh14.6 billion, and Kura Sh6.7 billion for maintenance this financial year.
Roads agencies are tipped for more funding following a proposal to increase their share of the road maintenance levy fund to 50 per cent.
Currently, only 10 per cent of the RMLF goes to development and the rest for maintenance of roads – filling potholes, paint markings, and furniture.
Of the remaining 90 per cent, Kenya Rural Roads Authority (Kerra) has been getting 10 per cent, 40 per cent to KeNHA, and 15 per cent to Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura).
The average annual collection into the RMLF is about Sh70 billion, meaning only about Sh7 billion goes to development such as opening up roads, including tarmacking.
The rest – about Sh63 billion, is spent to repair roads, mend potholes, and improve road furniture from the time to time.
But in the changes proposed by Pokot South MP David Pkosing, the agencies would now have 50 per cent of the roads levy collections going towards development.
The Kenya Roads Board Bill, 2022, seeks to empower the board to set aside the other half as security for securing a road bond to fund road works.
“The board shall manage the fund and allocate monies in the following manner; 50 per cent to the agencies, and 50 per cent for purposes of Section 32A,” the bill reads.
Section 32A of the Act provides that the board may set aside a portion of the fund for securing additional allocation.
The additional monies are sourced “where it is necessary to meet financial demands for maintenance, development and rehabilitation of roads.”
“The principal object of this Bill is to amend Section 6 of the Kenya Roads Board Act, 2009 to enable the Board to manage the Kenya Roads Fund in a manner that allows it to better finance the construction and maintenance of roads,” Pkosing said in the bill’s memorandum.
Pkosing, who is also chairperson of the Transport Committee of the National Assembly, told the Star the amendment is to provide more money for development.
He says the proposed formula would provide a sustainable base for the Kenya Roads Board to secure a bond to fund other projects.
“I want the 50 per cent to go to development and the rest to go to maintenance. For now, it is only 10 per cent that goes to development,” he said.
Pkosing said the changes would give the Ministry of Transport flexibility to fund projects without having to queue for long to meet its budget needs.
“At the moment, the Ministry has a commitment of about Sh600 billion – being works advertised. This is against a budget of about Sh50 billion. With this, we can’t reach. Such a meagre allocation is a joke,” the MP said.
“The ministry can ask for a bond through KRB. The levy would avails resources to pay the loan as they are sure of repaying, say for 10 years. They can cater to the budget needs.”
“The intention is to get money for development and pay slowly from the collections in the Road Maintenance Fuel Levy,” Pkosing said.
In the current financial year, KeNHA received Sh26.6 billion, Kerra Sh14.6 billion, and Kura Sh6.7 billion and Sh651 million went to Kenya Wildlife Service for roads within national parks and game reserves.
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