The government has finally made it happen the 2nd Annuity Programme Pre-bid conference that will aim at discussing plan for rolling out 10000km roads construction program.
The conference kicked off yesterday at the Kenya International Conference Center (KICC) and attended by top officials from the government, including Vice President William Ruto and Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau and National Construction Authority Chairman Daniel Manduku. Roads Principal Secretary, John Mosonik also attended the conference.
The conference will be crucial to success of the 10, 000km road annuity program where the governments is engaging contractors – local and international – to use the contractors’ funds in undertaking the project and then to pay them within twelve years after completion of sections in question. The government will continuously fund the program.
The annuity roads programme pre-qualified bidders also attended the conference.
The annuity program also jumpstarts the government’s involvement of the private sector under the Public Private Partnership arrangement, touted as a quite successful module of financing large projects. Prequalified contractors will participate in bidding for the projects and undertake construction, after which the government will inspect and pay after satisfaction. Thus, it will be effective in improving quality of roads through performance-based practice.
“This will be a significant shift from the past practice since payments will only be made roads completed well,” said Ruto during the opening of the conference yesterday. He added the government had previously experienced challenges of high unit costs and financial constraints in road construction but the program will help solve the challenges.
The cabinet has already approved the Road Annuity Programme Fund. “To show the seriousness of the implementation of the Annuity Programme, we wish to invite you for the first 650kms load for pricing and designing on March 20 so that we roll out the programme, “ said Roads Principal Secretary, John Mosonik.
Ruto said the government would ensure low cost in roads construction. “There is no absolute reason why a country like Australia or India can pay between Sh 15-20million per kilometer for example while here in Kenya we pay between Sh 60-80 million per kilometer. No way, we are not going back the way we did before,” and assured that it would pay contractors for work.
Roads Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau said an oversight committee and secretariat would oversee the operations in management of the funds under Road Annuity Programme. He assured of government’s commitment to sticking to agreement provided contractors did a good job.
KCB has agreed to finance contractors under the program and although local contractors cried foul of high financial requirement, the government will require that international contractors engage local contractors.