Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen has clarified a contract that was signed by the former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government that has resulted in higher charges for the Nairobi Expressway.
Murkomen said in a statement on Monday, January 1, that the new rates were due to the weakening of the Kenya Shilling against the US dollar since the Toll Rates were announced in April 2022.
He said the former government borrowed the loan in US Dollars and agreed to pay it back according to the prevailing market exchange rate.
However, the Kenyan shilling has been losing value since 2021 when the deal was made, forcing the Transport Ministry to announce new charges in line with the contract.
“The new rates were calculated based on the Project Agreement, taking into account the decline of the Kenya Shilling against the US dollar since April 2022. The agreement already has a formula for computing the new rates, taking into account the loan facility by the investor, which was in US Dollars,” said Murkomen.
Adding that “The Cabinet Secretary and the government of Kenya have no choice but to follow the agreement as it was established in 2021.”
The CS said that the situation would have been worse if the former government had guaranteed the traffic volume to the Chinese lenders.
“The good thing about Expressway is that the government of Kenya did not guarantee the traffic volume, otherwise the taxpayer would now be paying a lot from the interest, inflation, and the difference caused by low traffic flow.”
According to the new charges, drivers going from Mlolongo to Westlands will pay Ksh.500, instead of Ksh.360. A trip from Mlolongo to Southern Bypass will cost Ksh330, not Ksh240, while to Capital Center will cost Ksh.410, not Ksh.300.
From SGR to Eastern Bypass, drivers will pay Ksh.170, while to Southern Bypass, they will pay Ksh.250. From SGR to Capital Centre and Haile Selassie, they will pay Ksh.330.
Exits at Museum Hill, The Mall and Nairobi Westland’s terminus will cost Ksh.500, up from Ksh.310. The shorter routes from Syokimau to the SGR station and from SGR and the JKIA stations to the Eastern Bypass will cost Ksh.170, up from Ksh.100.