NRA Spent Over D735 Million on Road Maintenance in 2020

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By: Kebba AF Touray

Mr. Mustapha Joof, the Finance Director at the National Road Authority (NRA), has told the Finance and Public Account Committee (FPAC) that the authority spent a total of seven hundred and thirty-five million one hundred and ninety-five thousand six hundred and fifty-one dalasi (D735, 195,651.00) in 2020.

He reported that government subvention in 2020 was D44, 612,963.00 compared to D27 million in 2019, while government subvention on fuel levy was D379, 835,772.00 in 2020 compared to D206, 858,730.00 in 2019.

“Advertisements on the street lights from the road corridor were D5, 430, 500.00 in 2020, compared to D6, 3000.00 in 2019. Total income stood at D949, 976,350.00 in 2020 compared to D354, 779,420.00 in 2019. Roads maintenance cost in 2020 was D735, 195,651.00 compared to D220, 979,710.00 in 2019,” he reported.

He said that the surplus for the year 2020 was D144, 421,093.00 compared to D28, 155,768.00 in 2019.

Mr. Momodou Senghore, the Managing Director of NRA, said in The Gambia, road transport is the most frequently used means of transporting goods, people and services, adding that considering the significant role road transportation plays in the economic growth, the government has put in place a comprehensive transport policy framework.

The framework aims to provide appropriate guidelines balanced with policies in other sectors of the society to support expansion of the productive capacity of the economy and assist in improving the living standards of the population, according to him.

He added that this is evident of the government’s commitment in the fulfillment of the mandate in providing an acceptable level of service through the construction and maintenance of all road networks.

Senghore said despite the continuing fallout in the global economic downturn because of COVID-19, the NRA has made significant strides with regard to the expansion and maintenance of the road network in 2020.

“It can now be reported that 80 percent of the primary road network has been upgraded to bituminous standard with the completion of the Lamin Koto- Passamas road. The main outstanding sections are now Basse-Fatoto stretches, which are under construction,” he reported.

He unveiled that contracts were signed for the construction of some secondary roads to bituminous standard, most notably the Niumi Hakalang lop and secondary road projects in the North Bank Region of the Gambia, which consist of the construction of three sections with a total length of 86 kilometer.

“During this reporting period, a total of 10 kilometer of rural roads were graveled with gravel, 25 kilometers of bituminous standard roads were rehabilitated through periodic maintenance as part of the authority’s yearly road maintenance programme,” Director Senghore reported to FPAC.

He continued that the road network work extended with a 121 kilometers of bituminous standards of roads and 87 kilometers of gravel roads through collaborations with UNOPS and projects under the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Road safety is central to all NRA activities. The NRA also participated in several road safety activities, ranging from public sensitization to engineering around the country, not limited to the removal of obstacles from road sides, painting of zebra and pedestrian crossings, installation and implementation of speed calming structures, in collaboration with other agencies,” he said.