MWILA NTAMBI, NANCY SIAME, Kitwe, Lusaka
THE National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) collected K170 million in tolls from January to April this year.
NRFA spokesperson Alphonsius Hamachila said in an interview yesterday that the agency is pleased with the high level of compliance from motorists regarding payment of tolls.
He said the national road tolling programme has continued to be a beacon of hope and a model for implementing national development programmes.
Mr Hamachila said the agency projects to collect about K670 million in tolls by the end of the year.
“By the end of this year, the country will have a total of 20 inland toll stations of varying architectural designs, dependent on commercial viability across the core road network,” he said.
And Mr Hamachila said NFRA has introduced a discount system aimed at cushioning the impact of tolls paid by motorists who frequently use toll stations or those living within a 10 kilometre radius of the facilities.
He encouraged motorists residing within the 10 kilometre radius to visit their respective toll stations and register for them to start enjoying the discount.
Mr Hamachila said frequent user discounts will only apply to motorists who attain 10 passages through a toll station in a month.
And Mr Hamachila has allayed fears that tolls are a duplication of the existing road tax and fuel levy.
He said tolls are only charged when someone uses a tolled section of the road whereas road tax and fuel levy are paid whether one uses the road or not.
Mr Hamachila said Zambia has a huge backlog of road maintenance whose gap can only be bridged through sustainable road tolling.
Meanwhile, NRFA director Wallace Mumba said the agency intends to put up 20 toll plazas in rural areas of the country before the end of this year.
Mr Mumba said NRFA is targeting to build 40 toll plazas by the end of next year in rural parts of the country.
“The sites will be identified and the Road Development Agency will be engaged to construct the toll sites,” he said.
He said this when he featured on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation’s Sunday Interview programme.
Mr Mumba said the toll plazas in rural areas will be of low level because less than 500 vehicles pass through the countryside per day.
He said NRFA is also working on modalities to improve its service delivery such as reducing long queues at toll gates.