Ruto to decide when Nairobi-Mau Highway will start as financiers await his nod

President William Ruto is now holding keys to the 233-kilometre Mau Summit Highway project with financiers saying they are waiting for his nod on when the project will start.

French consortium made up of Vinci Highways SAS, Meridian Infrastructure Africa Fund, and Vinci Concessions SAS was awarded the contract by the state in 2020.

According to France Minister for State Development, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, the President is the one who will decide if the construction work on the Ksh.180 billion project will start.

“We have to resume talks, obviously, but it would be something important and would be nicer for the new administration to speak with the companies,” she said.

She spoke after the inauguration ceremony of the President at Moi Sports Complex, Kasarani on September 13.

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta had initiated discussing the construction of the toll highway this September.

Key interested financier in the mega project include the private sector arm of the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC).

IFC expressed interest to take part in financing the highway which, if Ruto gives nod, will be among the first project that will be established on the basis of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the country.

“The purpose of this early disclosure is to enhance the transparency of IFC’s activities with reference to those projects or investments with potential significant adverse environmental and social risks and/or impacts,” said the institution.

Other investors that are eyeing the Nairobi-Mau expressway bid include the African Development Bank (AfDB), which is looking into partially funding the project as a financing syndicate.

The installation of the expressway will not only ease traffic but will also reinforce the section between Rivoni and Naivasha which will include its operation and management.

Rift Valley Highway Limited (RHVL), who is the project company will give back the road to the government in 30 years’ time, after fully collecting its returns and capital outlay through toll fees.

The 233-kilometre Mau summit highway contract was awarded to a French consortium made up of Vinci Highways SAS, Meridian Infrastructure Africa Fund, and Vinci Concessions SAS in 2020.

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