RFA unpacks 2019/24 business plan
The Road Fund Administration launched its 18th annual business plan consultative workshop yesterday where it unpacked its plan for 2019 up to 2024 which is hinged on road funding.
Chief executive officer Ali Ipinge highlighted that RFA has so far invested over N$2.2 billion in the preservation and development of the road network.
Of this, 76% or about N$1.7 billion was allocated to the Roads Authority (RA) for the preservation and maintenance of the national road network.
This is inclusive of RA’s administrative expenditures which include the management of government-funded roads capital projects, NATIS operations as well as road management systems.
About 24% was allocated to other approved authorities (Local Authorities and Regional Councils); Traffic Law Enforcement and road safety programmes; and the RFA administrative expenditures.
He said a total of N$2.37 billion in revenue was generated through the Road User Charges as compared to N$2.21 billion in the previous financial year - FY2016/2017.
This then resulted in a steady year-on-year growth of 7% or net dollar increase of N$154 million.
He said on the downside however, the RFA fell short of reaching the budget target by 1%, largely due to the sluggish economic environment which impacted all the Road User Charges.
Said Ipinge, “From an investment point of view, we were able to allocate more funding to the approved authorities for road maintenance, we have seen better outcomes as far as the improvements in the conditions of our gravel roads, increase in the conditions of our bituminous roads through a dedicated reseal programs on key national roads as well as better management of roads and streets under the local authorities (Okahandja TC as an example).”
The RFA’s chairperson Penda Ithindi cautioned that the business plan was being formulated against a backdrop of a subdued economic environment in the sub-region and at home.
He said this environment presented tightness in the revenue prospects and expenditure outlays.
“It calls on all of us to realise greater operational efficiency, keep our overhead costs mean and lean and unleash the cutting edge of information communication technology, innovation, and research and development,” he said.
He also took pleasure to account to the public that over the past financial year, RFA’s financials rebounded back to operating surplus territory, after the considerable disbursement of the Fund reserves to alleviate funding needs for road projects budgeted for by the Government.
“Going forward, it is our business intention to strengthen the Fund liquidity position and financial buffers so as to shore up its capacity to respond to unforeseen circumstances and service its obligations,” he said.
Ithindi added that they intend to review the RFA Act in the coming year while stakeholder consultations will be at the centre of such a review.
“This will be for the purpose of bringing the policy provisions in line with latest developments in the sector and road funding frameworks,” said Ithindi.