I take this opportunity to address the issue of public engagements on the tolling of the Kampala Entebbe Expressway. As you are aware, construction of the expressway was completed in 2018, however due to a delay in enacting the tolling legislation, we could not commence tolling operations at the time.
We are happy to report that the Roads Act, that provides for tolling was enacted in 2019 and the gazette declaring Kampala-Entebbe Expressway as a Toll Road and Toll fees for each vehicle class run on 22 October 2021.
What will the Expressway provide?
Our quest is to provide our road users Great Roads and Great User Experience; Kampala Entebbe Expressway is testament to this resolve and it shall provide the following;
- Reliable travel and time savings between Entebbe and Kampala;
- Reduced vehicle operating costs;
- Cleaner air as a result of reduced green-house gas emissions caused by congestion and idling;
- An easy escape from the traffic along the existing highway leading to drivers arriving at their destination not only quicker but in a relaxed mood.
Why charge citizens to use the Expressways?
Expressways like the Kampala Entebbe Expressway, are high class roads that cost billions of Uganda shillings to build and maintain. They are however key in enhancing Uganda’s competitiveness in the region as well as spurring economic growth. For this reason, UNRA has planned all expressways to be tolled to enable road users to contribute to the development and maintenance of these roads.
Any accountability plan for the toll revenues?
The funds from toll revenues to be collected on the Kampala-Entebbe expressway will be exclusively used to finance the operation and maintenance of the expressway. This will enable the expressway to be maintained to high class standard and not compete for the inadequate maintenance resources with the other non-tolled roads.
It is against this background that UNRA signed a contract with EGIS Road Operations S.A to execute performance-based contract for operation and maintenance services including tolling operations for a period of five years. Over the contract period, EGIS will provide a broad range of services to the Government and road users including;
- Toll Collection and System Installation
- Lighting: Full length lighting of the Expressway including payment of all electricity bills for the entire contract duration;
- Route Patrol and Incident management: security to patrol the expressway 24/7 to ensure all motorists are safe with no incidents of robbery. In addition, the operator shall attend to all incidents on the expressway including accident road side assistance;
- Road Safety Furniture: Installation of new and improved road safety furniture such as road signage and guardrails;
- Fencing: Replacement of damaged fencing to ensure safety of the road and prevent intrusion of people and animals. I would like to caution the public that any further attempts to damage the replaced fence will be curbed by the 24/7 route patrol team and the CCTV cameras installed along the route
- Local Content (Job creation and skills transfer): Transfer new skills and technology to locally owned companies and Ugandan locals and ensure the project is run 90% by Ugandan locals by the end of the five-year contract period. The operator has already engaged local companies namely Pinnacle Security and Abubaker Technical Services. This strong local content focus, is expected to result in significant strengthening and improvement of the local construction industry.
- Timely and efficient operation and maintenance services:
As UNRA, we are committed to ensuring that the Operator delivers reliable and quality expressway services that take into account Government’s local content agenda as well as ensuring environmental sustainability.
The bigger picture
I wish to assure the public that UNRA remains committed to deliver road infrastructure conforming to international standards. We have put in place a mechanism to properly manage the toll revenues including ensuring that UNRA independently records each vehicle that passes the toll plaza to ensure that we collect 100% of the expected revenue.
We want to see an expressway which is responsive to the needs of the traveling public and provides a “Great User Experience”. This shall only be possible with the support of motorists through payment of the prescribed tolls.
I therefore wish to invite the Minister of Works and Transport to declare Kampala Entebbe Expressway as a Toll Road as provided for in the Roads Act, 2019 and disclose the Toll fees for each vehicle class.
Thank you all. For God and My Country!
Mrs. Allen Kagina
Executive Director UNRA