President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to leave the country for Paris, France on Wednesday, September 30, for the first time since the first COVID-19 case was reported in March.
Kenyatta's visit follows the resumption of air travel on July 15, 2020, after flights were grounded in March when the country recorded its first positive case.
As of September 28, 2020, France had recorded 538 569 cases and 31, 727 deaths. France logged record daily jumps in cases last week, with hospitals in Paris, planning for fewer surgeries amid mounting fears over a possible influx of COVID-19 patients.President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the National Covid-19 Conference at KICC on Monday, September 28, 2020.File
During his trip, the Head of State is expected to sign a public private partnership (PPP) deal worth Ksh 180 billion for the dualling of the Rironi-Nakuru-Mau summit road; a 190 kilometers stretch.
Kenyatta will meet up with President Emmanuel Macron at Elysee palace in Paris, where he will actualise the deal.
"The Nakuru-Mau Summit Super Highway will be a toll road given to a concessionaire to finance, build and operate. Through the Toll Fund recently enacted by the National Assembly, the government will guarantee availability of traffic," reads a statement by Statehouse chief of staff Nzioka Waita,
The road will reduce travel time for both people and goods and at the same time compliment the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) between Naivasha and Malaba border.
After a battle by french firms to clinch the Ksh 180 billion deal last year, the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) awarded the tender to French Firm Meridiam International.
Others in the consortium include; Vinci Highways SAS and Vinci Concessions SAS.
The project will involve expansion of the 180-kilometre road into a four-lane dual carriageway from Rironi in Limuru to Mau Summit in Nakuru County.
Additionally, the work will involve the rehabilitation of the Mai Mahiu-Naivasha Road and the reaction of toll stations on the highway under a Public Private Partnership.
“The contractor will be expected to build, maintain, manage and operate the highway and recover his money from motorists in the form of user fees,” KenHA director general Peter Mundinia stated in an interview last year.
Transport CS James Macharia earlier stated that the cabinet's precedence would be to have two PPP's projects in order to ease traffic for motorists plying between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Westlands, and those who use the Nairobi-Naivasha-Nakuru highway.
"We decided to give priority to two Public Private partnership projects," Macharia stated.Transport CS James Macharia, CAS Wavinya Ndeti and other officials during a press briefing on the transport protocols for public service transport at Transcom House, Nairobi on July 8, 2020.
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