Lobby group pressures government over Nairobi highway deal
The Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has called on the government to publicize the Ksh 89 billion agreement on the Nairobi highway.
COFEK, in a petition dated Wednesday, April 27, wants the Ministry of Transport to explain to the public the criteria used to arrive at the toll rates which have recently been revised upwards.
Apart from the toll fee form, COFEK – through its Secretary General, Stephen Mutoro – wants the Ministry of Transport, led by Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, to explain how the Nairobi Expressway was developed. , specifying whether it was through a loan, public subsidies. private partnership, lease, government funding or other arrangement.
Nairobi Expressway Project near Chiromo Road Interchange
In the petition, COFEK also wants the ministry to explain the problems with Mombasa road repairs and maintenance, arguing that it has been greatly affected by the construction of the highway.
The lobby group is investigating whether the 27-kilometre road was designed to cut the pre-existing three-lane road from Mombasa in half.
The drainage problem has also been highlighted with COFEK arguing that unless rectified it will likely cause the already strained drainage system to clog, which in turn will lead to huge traffic jams.
COFEK also wants the government to make it clear whether there is a hidden motive behind forcing motorists to pay for the road by reducing lanes on Mombasa Road.
COFEK’s petition comes a week after the Ministry of Transport published the hike in toll charges for motorists using the Nairobi highway, citing the weakening of the shilling against the dollar.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 4B(3) of the Public Roads Tolls Act, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works approves the rates charge for Nairobi Express Way as set out in the attached schedule,” said the Kenya Gazette notice signed by CS Macharia.
According to the advisory, to travel from the Nairobi East (Mlolongo) section of the Nairobi Expressway to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), motorists will be charged Ksh 180 and not Ksh 120 as previously advertised. The same amount will apply for those exiting the Nairobi Expressway through the Eastern Bypass.
From Mlolongo to Southern Bypass and Capital Center, motorists will be charged a flat rate of Ksh 240. Motorists from Museum Hill will be charged Ksh 300 and Ksh 360 to the James Gichuru Road intersection.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) recently issued another statement assuring the public that the Mombasa road will be rehabilitated before the expressway is officially put into operation.