The Chingeni Toll Plaza in Ntcheu along the M1 has raised over K500 million in road user fees since tollgate operations began on November 8 2021.
Roads Fund Administration director of finance Alex Makhwatha disclosed this on Monday when Minister of Transport and Public Works Jacob Hara toured Kalinyeke and Chingeni toll gates to appreciate how they are operating.
He could not provide estimates of how much Kalinyeke Tollgate has raised since it only started operating last Friday.
Makhwatha said: “I can say since the beginning of operations of Chingeni Tollgate on November 8 2021, the facility has collected over K500 million.”
The minister, appointed on December 6 2021 replacing Sidik Mia who passed on in January 2021, also visited Ntcheu-Tsangano-Neno-Mwanza Road project.
In his comment, Hara said collections from the two tollgates will facilitate a well-connected quality road network through constant maintenance.
“This money goes straight into the Roads Fund Administration account to be used for maintenance of roads. What this means is that the money from the government will be used for construction and upgrading of new road infrastructure,” he said.
Hara dismissed fears of abuse of tollgate funds, saying the tollgates have an automatic system which records all vehicles crossing and the actual amount they were supposed to pay.
On the Ntcheu-Tsangano-Neno-Mwanza Road, Hara said it has been delayed due to several factors, including delayed funding, Covid-19 and poor weather.
Roads Authority board chairperson Joe Ching’ani agreed with the minister on the challenges which delayed the road and said there will now be progress.
This month, government gazetted new reduced fees that took effect on January 12. Under the revised fees, minibuses are paying K2 000 from K3 400 while 31-seater buses and vehicles weighing between five to 10 tonnes are paying K4 000 from K5 100 and K7 000, respectively.
Light and pickup cars fees have been reduced to K1 000 from K1 700.
Initially, RA projected to raise between K4 billion to K5 billion per year from the toll fees with the amount projected to increase with the passage of time.