|2012 Road Sector Budget|
|Written by Administrator|
|Wednesday, 23 November 2011 00:17|
On 11th November, 2011, the Minister of Finance Hon. Alexander Chikwanda, MP, opened a national budget envelope of K27.6 trillion, for the fiscal year 1st January 2012 to 31st December 2012.
This laid to the fore, the budgetary instruments to be used to translate the new government’s policies into action, programmes and projects as articulated by His Excellency Michael Chilufya Sata, at the opening of Parliament.
The budget presentation underlined the Treasury’s confidence in the economic growth forecast, citing agriculture, manufacturing, construction and transport and communication industries as the main drivers of Zambia’s economic growth.
In order to improve the quality of life for the average Zambian, the 2012 budget prioritises social sector development through improvement of health care, water and sanitation services underpinned by infrastructure development and enhancement of skills and knowledge.
To this end, expenditure will focus on four core development areas of agriculture, education and skills development, health services, and local government and housing.
Of primary importance, is the overcoming of Zambia’s road infrastructure deficit, which has been placed at the heart of the 2012 budget, as Government has taken a positive dimension by increasing the portfolio of resources to the road sector from K3 trillion in 2011 to K4.4 trillion in 2012
representing an increase of 47%.
Zambia’s cooperating partners will, through loans and grants, contribute about 48 percent to the road sector budget, with government providing 33 percent of the funding. Fuel levy, Other Road User Charges such as international transit fees, road tax, weigh bridge fees and fines will cap it up with 19 percent of the total revenue.
Given the vital importance of the road sector to Zambia’s economy, not least in terms of providing access to key economic viable points, the Road Sector Annual Work Plan and Budget for 2012 will correspond to the new Government’s policy direction within the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA)’s overall Strategic Framework of ensuring “A Good and Safe Road Network for all”.
Thus, the NRFA, in collaboration with its sister Agencies and other stakeholders is working at complimenting the new Government’s vision of opening up the country through an efficient and effective road network, by prudently allocating the K4.4 trillion towards the completion of on-going projects and the conducting of feasibility studies for new ones.
The estimates of expenditure for road projects and road transport services will largely be tied to upgrading of roads, rehabilitation, periodic maintenance and road safety.
Given the staggering high traffic fatalities in the country, the stakes in road safety education, regulation and enforcement are high and getting higher by the day. An allocation of K141 billion has, as a result, been provided for in the road sector budget to enable the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) enhance safety on our roads.
With respect to road works, estimates of expenditure for the 2012 Annual Work Plan have been illustrated most clearly by Provincial allocations. Some Provinces have, however, received more funds than others to enable the completion of ongoing road projects and/or the commencement of new ones; and due to donor preferences in those provinces.
With an allocation of K819 billion, Northern Province, for instance, has the highest allocation representing 20% of the total budget.
Some of the road works to be funded such as the Isoka-Muyombe Road will link Northern Province to the newly established Muchinga Province, and by extension, the Eastern Province. The allocation for Northern Province will also meet the cost for the periodic maintenance of the Chinsali-Isoka Road in order to preserve this road asset from further deterioration and the construction of Mbesuma Bridge to provide accessibility and therefore
facilitate delivery of goods and services.
Western Province has received an allocation of K786 billion representing 19.2 percent of the total budget. The bulk of this allocation will
go towards the on-going construction of the Mongu-Kalabo Road, the upgrading of the Sesheke-Senanga Road, the Feasibility Study and Detailed Designs for the Kaoma - Lukulu – Watopa Road, works on the Sioma Bridge and the construction of the Kalabo - Sikongo - Angola Border Road.
The allocation for Lusaka Province is K639 billion representing 15 percent of the road sector budget. This funding will go towards the rehabilitation of the Lusaka Urban Roads and the Detailed Designs for the Chibombe Bridges in Chongwe District, among others.
Eastern Province has been allocated with K484 billion, which is 11.3 percent of the total budget. This allocation will cater for the Chipata Township Roads and the Chipata Lundazi Road, Chipata-Mfuwe Road among others. The Copperbelt Province has been allocated with K369 billion or 8.6 percent of the total budget the bulk of which will go towards therehabilitation of urban roads in the province.
As for Luapula Province, K354 billion has been allocated representing K8.3 percent of the budget. Some of the projects to be worked on include Luena Farm Block Roads, Samfya - Katanshya/Twingi and the Muwang’uni - Mulunbi/Mungulube Roads among others.
North Western Province has got K279 billion representing 6.5 percent and this provision is required to meet the cost for upgrading of the Kabompo to Chavuma road to bitumenous standard, among others.
Southern Province has been allocated with K239 billion representing 5.6 percent of the budget and central Province has received K221 billion which is 5.1 percent of the road sector budget. Works for the southern Province will include detailed Design of the Kafue-Mazabuka and Batoka - Maamba Roads while in Central Province the funds will go towards the periodic maintenance of the Serenje –
Lukulu River among other projects.
It is worth noting that the NRFA has, under the 2012 Annual Work Plan, equally allocated finances for rural roads to be worked on by the Rural Roads Unit (RRU), a department under the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication.
These relatively low volume roads fulfill a potentially vital socio-economic function, not only by providing access to rural areas where the bulk of the population live, but also by connecting the productive agricultural areas to the primary road network.
With increase in budgetary allocation for road projects in 2012, it becomes obvious and obligatory on the part of the Agency (NRFA) to upsacle monitoring and evaluation activities in 2012 to support and promote value-for-money on road projects especially high value road projects. These include all periodic maintenance projects, rehabilitation and new construction projects.
In 2012 budget for road projects a significant amount of funds has been allocated to the Agenc for monitoring and evaluation activities. This will go a long way in enhancing value-for-money on projects in the road sector.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:15|