Kenya fined Sh34.7m for delayed Outer Ring Road bills

outerring road

A section of the Outer Ring Road on March 16, 2018 near Airgate Mall. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

Taxpayers will pay Sh34.7 million in interest arising from delays by the highways authority to settle bills for the construction of the Nairobi Outering Road.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu says in a report tabled in Parliament that Sh34, 715,982 had been charged by the contractor as interest in delayed payment.

“This charge arose due to failure by the authority to settle contractor’s dues within the timelines stipulated in the contract agreement and has no commensurate benefit to the citizen,” MS Gathungu said in an audit of the project for the year to June 2021.

The report tabled in Parliament shows that the pending bills totaling Sh418,926,708 had not been paid as at the time of audit.

“Although this was a decrease from an amount of 710,123,917 as reported in the previous year, the project is at risk of incurring additional costs inform of interest and penalties for failure to settle costs as and when they fall due,” Ms Gathungu said.

Kenya secured a 14 billion loan from the African Development Fund (AfDB) in 2015 to build the project in Nairobi’s Eastlands that has transformed the densely populated Eastlands area.

The Outer Ring Road project, financed by the African Development Bank and the government, is among many that have decongested Nairobi city and brought down the cost of living and transport.

The road’s expansion was among multiple road projects in the city which include Thika Superhighway, three bypasses, Western Ring Roads and the expansion of five roads in Eastlands funded by the European Union.

During the construction period, service lanes to ease the expected traffic congestion were given priority before the contractor moved in to construct the inner lanes.

The project was undertaken by Chinese company Sinohydro Corporation and saw the road expanded with multiple interchanges to cure the characteristic traffic congestion experienced currently.

The road passes through densely populated residential and industrial areas in Eastlands in what contributed to high fares and cost of goods.

The 13km road stretches from the Ruaraka/Thika Road Junction to Taj Mall in Embakasi. The project involved the construction of two lanes in each direction, service roads, 10-footbridges, non-motorised transport facilities and six interchanges.

The design also made provision for a nine-meter raised central median that will be later developed to a bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor. Other features include walkways and cycle tracks over the entire length of the road, planting of 4,500 trees, and a children’s traffic safety park.

[email protected]