MP’s probe into Nairobi Expressway secret contracts starts

MP’s probe into Nairobi Expressway secret contracts starts

Members of the National Assembly’s Transport Committee announced investigations into the Nairobi Expressway contracts on  Jan. 5. The MPs are looking into how the highway cost jumped from Ksh 23 billion during the grand coalition administration to over Ksh 70 billion, among other objectives.

Nairobi Expressway building costs exaggerated by Ksh 40 billion

The Transportation Committee wishes to learn more about the funding approach used by the China Road and Bridge Corporation for this project (CRBC). In April 2021, current National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula said that previous President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration exaggerated building costs by Ksh40 billion. 

Wetangula, who was foreign affairs Minister in former President Mwai Kibaki’s cabinet, stated on the Senate floor that the Grand Coalition Government approved the building of the Nairobi Expressway at the cost of Ksh 23 billion. At the time of completion, the total cost of the Nairobi Expressway had ballooned to around Ksh 100 billion, including all cost components.

Kimani Kuria, Chairman of the Transport Committee and  current Molo MP, stated that parliamentarians called officials from the Transport and Treasury Ministries and the Chinese contractor to shed light on cost and operational issues associated with the Nairobi Expressway.

The committee will also seek public input and evidence to back up concerns expressed by motorists on the Nairobi Expressway. According to Kuria, Kenyans voiced safety concerns to the National Assembly Finance and Planning committee, saying that road’s’ financing, building, and operation remain a mystery to taxpayers.

Nairobi Expressway concession fee

According to a statement by Steve Zhao, CEO of Moja Expressway, the Nairobi Expressway is used by 50,000 cars daily. As such, the committee will investigate how much money the Chinese corporation collects on a daily basis.

Based on the committee’s findings, a decision on whether the Treasury demands a share of the concession fee will be made. In addition, the committee will evaluate whether the concession period will be reviewed. 

Officials from the Transport ministry will be required to provide details of the former administration’s contract with the Chinese company. However, it is still unclear if the committee will summon former Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.

Source: https://nation.africa/kenya/news/mps-to-probe-sh72bn-nairobi-expressway-tender-operations-4075996 

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