Columnists Features

Road toll distribution platforms

Profile: NATIONAL Roads Fund Agency yesterday started operating a number of newly installed toll gates around the Country. Here motorists wait for their turn to pay toll fees at Manyumbi toll gate in Kapiri Mposhi on Great North Road. PICTURE: CHAMBO NGUNI

NRFA ROAD TOLLING CORNER
WITH the launch of the National Road Tolling Programme Phase II on January 15, 2016 by the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA, being the officially appointed lead tolls agent, tolling operations have essentially been extended to all vehicle classifications including small passenger vehicles and minibuses.
Many other sites are being planned for commissioning in 2017 in addition to the inland toll sites of Manyumbi, Kafulafuta and Kafue Bridge.
This development has increased the pool of revenue generating vehicles captured at toll stations, logically placing a huge demand for innovative payment platforms such as e-tags, cashless portals, mobile phone, cards and others so as to reduce incidences of congestion and achieve driver dissatisfaction.
Lack of innovative toll payment platforms at the toll stations has caused growing frustration and dissatisfaction among road users.
There have been concerns of inconvenience and insecurity due to risks associated with carrying cash especially by large fleet operators and the toll operations are exposed to huge risks due to the continued operation of tolling business on a cash basis.
The good news, however, is that the Tolls Regulations 2016 as prescribed in Statutory Instrument No. 85 of 2016, presents the NRFA with an opportunity to resolve the above challenges by striking strategic partnerships with the private sector and enhance efficiencies through the introduction of innovative payment platforms and reduce operational expenditure.
The agency has since engaged information technology firms, telecommunication entities, banking and non-banking financial institutions and availed them with the immediate opportunities under the National Road Tolling Programme Phase II, specifically bulk distributorship of tolls which has a five percent promotional discount on the bulk purchase of tolls.
The NRFA will henceforth set up a criterion of engaging a distribution chain of wholesalers and retailers who would then bring the much-needed innovation through distribution of tolls either electronically or by card.
A creation of a distribution chain of vendors for tolls as per SI 85 of 2016, is a noble idea which has the following value added propositions:
• Convenience: this innovation would add to driver and road user satisfaction through the provision of wider choice of payment platforms;
• Mitigation of Risk: Reduce the wide array of business and operational risk associated with handling huge cash by both road users especially truckers and toll collectors
• Increased Toll Revenues: The Road Fund would enjoy upfront or prepayment of tolls long before the road user drives on the road thereby increased toll revenues;
• Administration Efficiency: Improves reporting and accountability due to efficient capture of data.
• Job Creation: While reducing waste, distributorships are able to create jobs for third parties in the value chain
The bulk discount toll rates/whole sale toll prices for prospective bulk distributors as per SI 85 of 2016 are as shown below:
No Tolls Price ZMW         Discount Rate ZMW         Discounted Price ZMW
a Tolls worth 1,000.00          1,000.00 50.00             950.00
b Tolls worth 2,000.00          2,000.00 100.00             1,900.00
c Tolls worth 3,000.00          3,000.00 150.00             2,850.00
d Tolls worth 4,000.00          4,000.00 200.00             3,800.00
e Tolls worth 5,000.00          5,000.00 250.00             4,750.00
f Tolls worth 6,000.00          6,000.00 300.00             5,700.00
g Tolls worth 7,000.00          7,000.00 350.00             6,650.00
h Tolls worth 8,000.00          8,000.00 400.00             7,600.00
i Tolls worth 9,000.00          9,000.00 450.00             8,550.00
j Tolls worth 10,000.00     10,000.00 500.00                 9,500
Should you have any questions or clarifications regarding toll roads, please do not hesitate to contact us using: Road Tolling Corner, P.O. Box 50695 Lusaka. E-mail nrfa@zamnet.org.zm



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