K50mil will be used to maintain highways, says NRA

National, Normal

NATIONAL Roads Authority (NRA) chairman Rex Paki has clarified National Planning Minister Paul Tiensten’s statement about K40-K50 million are parked with NRA.
Mr Paki said in a statement yesterday the NRA and Works Department had demarcated clear maintenance responsibilities.
“NRA’s responsibility is anticipated to increase in the medium to long term, depending on its capacity to generate more road related revenues to sustain its road maintenance objectives,” Mr Paki said.
He said the NRA had positioned itself to be responsible for routine maintenance of all maintainable sections that were in good condition while the Works Department would focus on other major roads for periodic or major rehabilitation, redevelopment and heavy emergency maintenance.
“Works Department will continue to rely on funding from the annual budgets to respond to these road maintenance needs and heavy emergencies (as they occur).
“The financing of the routine maintenance by NRA is through the road fund, generated from user charges without government support through the Budget appropriations,” he said.
Mr Paki said although the NRA submitted road maintenance budget estimates to National Planning in the last three years to supplement the shortfall in road maintenance needs, funding was not provided.
“Therefore, the said K40  million to K50 million is an accumulated road user charges for the last three years for which the NRA full board has approved the 2009 and 2010 work plans with K45.4 million already committed and contract execution being finalised due to delays in the procurement process,” he said.
Mr Paki said these contracts were for routine maintenance on Highlands, Magi, Hiritano, New Britain and Sepik highways.