News Column

Roads Get Lions Share of Infrastructure Budget

June 16, 2014

Lola Okulo

THE government has said it is investing in a "first class" transport and logistics network to help it reduce the country's cost of doing business and improve competitiveness.

In the next financial year starting July, the government is targeting to raise Sh22.9 billion through the railway development levy that was introduced in the 2013/2014 budget read out last June.The money will be used to bolster the ongoing construction of the standard gauge railway.

The SGR is scheduled for completion and commissioning in 2017.

The RDL performed better than expected in the current financial year bringing in Sh14.6 billion in the nine months of the fiscal year against the set Sh9.9 billion.

In the national budget statement published yesterday, the government says it is also finalising modalities for financing a commuter rail linking the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Nairobi'sCentral Business District.

Other than JKIA which is considered key to East Africa's transport system and connectivity as well as tourism; the government has allocated Sh1.65 billion to fund ongoing upgrade of Kisumu and Isiolo airports.

Part of the money will also be used to build three new airports in Mandera, Malindi and Suneka in Kisii county.

Of all the infrastructural projects lined up for the 2014/2015 financial year, the government will spend heavily on improvement of the road network according to the budget statement issued by National Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich.

In total the government has set aside Sh116.7 billion to be spent on road network alone as follows: Sh41 billion for completion of ongoing road constructions countrywide, Sh22.4 billion for roads maintenance, Sh42.3 billion for other major road construction especially those connecting Kenya with neighbouring countries.

Other projects to benefit from the roads fund include Sh1 billion towards decongestion of road junctions in Nairobi for faster flow of traffic and Sh10 billion for other new new roads planned for the upcoming financial year.

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Source: AllAfrica

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