The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has contracted a French firm, Egis Group, to maintain the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway at a cost of Shs122b for five years.
Speaking at the annual performance briefing at its offices in Kampala on Wednesday, September 9, 2021, UNRA executive director Allen Kagina said the choice of the French firm was premised on the need for international expertise in toll collection systems technology and asset management that are not yet available with the local providers.
“However, PPDA having concluded and dispensed off all the complaints, UNRA was able to award the contract, through International Competitive Bidding process, to Egis from France, to undertake the 5 year Operations and Maintenance of the Kampala–Entebbe Expressway,” Kagina said.
Egis is required to sub- contract 30 per cent of the operations to local companies.
The scope of the contract covers lighting of the Expressway from Busega to Mpala, installation of toll collection system and overload control system, installation of independent traffic monitoring system; tolling operations and toll collection.
Kagina said UNRA will also embark on critical oil road projects in the current financial year. These include Critical Oil Roads Package 4: Lusalira-Nkonge-Lumegere and Lumegere-Ssembabule (97Km); Critical oil Roads package 6A: Design and build for the Upgrading of Kabwoya-Buhuka Road (43Km); Critical oil Roads package 6B: Design and build for the Upgrading of Karugutu – Ntoroko Road (56.5km), Link to Rwebisengo (8.2km) and 3.3km of Town Roads in Ntoroko.
Kagina also cited UNRA challenges such as: the financing for the road development programme remains constrained and not in harmony with the five-year plan.
UNRA closed the year with a debt of UGX 215Bn on the Government of Uganda-financed projects. The arrears and limited financing distorts efforts to successfully achieve NDPIII objectives, she said.
Kagina also decried a rigid Public Finance Management Act, which she said does not allow flexibility in utilisation of funds to drive the development programme.