Kenya’s Infrastructure Principal Secretary, Engr. John Mosonik, says the Government has deliberately decided to focus on major highways and trade routes in a bid to improve transport infrastructure and reduce costs of business in the country and the region at large.
Mosonik disclosed this while announcing the dualisation and upgrade of the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway and Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit Road; construction of a second bridge in Nyali, Mombasa; and the operation and maintenance of the Nairobi-Thika Road and Nairobi Southern By-Pass as the five key road projects to be constructed and maintained through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
Transport costs currently account for around 30 per cent of the cost of goods and services across the region due to poor infrastructure.
The PPP model will enable the country to take up more infrastructure projects by mobilizing resources.
The projects will be undertaken by the private sector which will recover its investment in the course of the life of the projects.
The projects will cut down costs by saving fuel and reducing car maintenance costs as well as time lost in traffic.
They will also spur economic activity along the corridors they pass, the PS added.
The motoring experience in the country will also be improved.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) will handle the road projects while the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) will execute the second Nyali Bridge project.
KeNHA Director General Engineer Peter Mundinia said, “With an operation and maintenance concession, we will require the private partners to undertake continuous maintenance of the roads throughout the life of the contract life.”
Though the concept of operating roads in Kenya is relatively new, there will be specified duration within which to fix potholes, damaged rail guards and broken streetlights with obstructions expected to be cleared speedily and emergency and evacuation services on standby.
The second bridge in Nyali will ease the congestion which inconveniences residents of Mombasa Island town and the Northern mainland.
Engineer Silas Kinoti, KURA Director General reiterated the authority’s determination to improve the infrastructure in the tourism and commercial hub with modern and efficient features.
The Private Public Partnership Unit, a department under Treasury will oversee the financing of the roads and bridge project.
The Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development and the National Treasury have planned an investor conference in mid-November to kick-start the procurement of these projects where potential investors will be briefed and invited to participate through the Requests for Qualfication (RFQ) planned for release this November.
The Government has contracted various International Transaction Advisors to study and advice on the projects and support them until financial close.
Source: Footprint to Africa