The Road Maintenance Fund Administration (RMFA) Director of Finance Joe Thomas has revealed that their administration inherited a liability of nearly Le200 billion from the previous administration. Responding to questions from the plenary at their 2020 Budget discussion, Thomas said that they are paying Le2.45 billion monthly to three banks. “What we did was to transfer the liability on all projects and reconstruction work to the Ministry of Finance and we negotiated with the banks. Just imagine if we use that amount on our roads every month” he said. The Fund received transfers from Oil Marketing Companies for fuel levy and vehicle licensing and registration by Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority (SLRSA) Le114 billion in 2017, Le85 billion in 2018 and for the first half of 2019 they have received Le62 billion. Speaking on the budget gaps, Thomas said that they projected for the last three years and took the average of that and that they can only spend what is really given to them. “We might increase in 2020 but the good news is that the money is coming to us directly now, it goes through the treasury single account (TSA) and directly to the RMFA disbursement account” he said.
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
The Fund’s revenue estimates for 2020 is Le102 billion (Le102,263,487,030), from this amount Le98 billion will be coming from fuel levy and Le3.2 billion from SLRSA. Bashir Sheriff, RMFA’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer explained that road maintenance projections is based on 20% increment of 2012 road users cost knowledge system (RUCKS) by the World Bank unit rate for routine maintenance 2 and assuming that fuel consumption remains constant in all scenarios. The Fund’s current revenue scenario is that Le295.37 is being paid to them per litre of fuel levy which will account for their 2020 projection. The DCEO explained further that if the country starts implementing the World Bank unit cost of 12 US cents per litre the Fund will receive Le315 billion. The exchange rate used for RUCKS rate is at Le9,444.26 per US$1. He went on to state some of their constraints which he says “the Administration’s funding commitments for road projects exceed the current RUC receipts and the gradual loss of the RMFA achievements due to the underperformance of other actors.” It is their recommendation that government raise the fuel levy to the world recommended price which currently stands at 12US cents per litre. The Fund requested for a budget estimate of Le133 billion for financial year 2020.
By Zainab Iyamide Joaque
Login or Subscribe to read the entire article