Murkomen Proposes Increase of Road Maintenance Levy to Ksh22 by 2025

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen in a meeting on January 26, 2024
Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen in a meeting on January 26, 2024
Kipchumba Murkomen

Kenyans are staring at higher fuel prices following a proposal by Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen to increase the cost of the Road Maintenance Levy Fund (RMLF) by Ksh4 within the next nine months.

The RMLF is a levy collected for every litre of fuel purchased at the pump. It is currently set at Ksh18 per litre of diesel and petrol and is channelled towards the maintenance and upgrading of roads across the country.

Responding to questions from Senators in Parliament on Wednesday, March 20, Murkomen explained that the cost of maintaining roads had risen significantly and hence more funds were required to bridge the gap.

He proposed that the levy should be increased to Ksh22 for every litre of fuel, to boost the fuel levy collection in the subsequent financial year.

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"I'm working on a Cabinet memo to think of how else we can do what we need to do including tolling. We have proposed the RMLF should be increased to Ksh22 per litre by the year 2025 if we're going to breach the gap in place," he stated.

The CS defended the proposal by pointing out that the RMLF had not been increased for eight years despite a hike in fuel prices.

"The situation is further complicated that the fuel levy has remained at Ksh18 per litre since 2016 at a time when a litre of petrol cost was Ksh100. In 2024, the levy is still at Ksh18 per litre whereas a litre of petrol costs Ksh200," he noted.

He noted that agencies such as Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) and  Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA) lacked the adequate funds needed to carry out their mandates.

"The steady decline in the purchasing power of the fuel levy collection means that there's a growing backlog of maintenance activities that ought to be done but instead were postponed and deferred," he explained.

"Specifically, the projection resource need for RML for the financial year 2024/25 is Ksh110 billion while the anticipated collection of that same year is Ksh69 billion, a shortfall of about Ksh40 billion."

Roads Listed for Expansion

The Transport CS also listed the roads earmarked for expansion including the Mombasa to Malaba Highway, Museum Hill to Moyale, Makutano Junction to Isiolo and Isibania to South Sudan border.

He, however, necessitated that the projects would be realised through the tolling of major highways.

"I will bring forth a conversation in Parliament regarding the issue of tolling which is something that we must endeavour if we want to expand these roads," CS noted.

"Right now, we are conversing with engineers over the construction of the Rironi-Mau Summit and also ensure that tolling passes in Parliament to allow our main roads provide us with enough funds necessary to rehabilitate, maintain and construct other roads across the country."

A fuel attendant in Kenya.
A fuel attendant in Kenya.