By: Fostina Mkandawire – MANA
The Chingeni road tollgate which is under construction in Ntcheu district is expected to be raising K4.5 billion annually and the money will be used for maintenance of roads.
Malawi News Agency (MANA) reported that the amount was arrived at after a feasibility study conducted before construction commenced at the site.
During a visit to the site by the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Corporations and State Enterprises, chairperson for the committee Isaac Kaneka attested to the importance of the tollgate to the development of the country.
He said that the project would benefit Malawians because the money that would be collected at the site would be used for road maintenance across the country.
Kaneka added that the committee was satisfied with the progress of the construction work at the site, taking into consideration the fact that Covid-19 slowed the progress of the construction.
The Project which commenced in July 2020 was expected to be completed in December 2020, but due to Covid-19, it will be completed in March 2021.
According to Kaneka, the committee would continue monitoring the project even after completion to ensure that there’s accountability and transparency of funds realized from the project.
The project works under construction include toll islands, canopies, plaza buildings, plant buildings, toll booths inclusive of all internal utilities, and the road works.
The K2 billion tollgate has been facilitated by government through the Roads Authority and the Roads Fund Administration.
Chief Executive officer for the Roads Fund Stewart Malata said the road would serve as an additional source of funding to complement the current two sources of Roads fund income and would increase the Roads fund revenues.
“This project will, in turn, result in an increase in the volume of the roads constructed and maintained by the roads fund,” he said.
Malata said improved road condition was a key tool to accelerate the country’s economic growth as it improves transportation of agricultural produce, improves trade, and increases access to social amenities.
He made mention of Covid-19, delaying the project in terms of importation of construction materials, due to travel restrictions world over.
The Chingeni toll plaza is located in Ntcheu District, about 0.5 km just before the Zomba turn-off at Chingeni along the M1 road.