Kampala — The government will start repaying the Kampala-Expressway loan in July. The loan worth US 350 Million Dollars (approximately 1.2 Trillion shillings) was acquired from the Exim Bank of China.
In May 2011, government through Ministry of Finance signed a loan agreement with the Exim Bank to finance the construction of the 51.4km Kampala -Entebbe Expressway. The four-lane expressway comprises two road sections - a 36.94km-long section and a 12.68km-long link road.
Exim Bank has been disbursing the money in instalments over the last 7 years. Its first disbursement was made on 29th June 2012 and the last one is expected on 21st May this year.
According to the loan agreement, the government is now obliged to commence repayment on July 21st, this year, 2019. The loan repayment schedule will run from July 21st 2019 to 21st January 2032.
In the 13 year repayment period, the government plans to pay US $26.8 Million Dollars (approximately 101.8 billion shillings) a year.
It will, however, pay it twice a year that is US 13.4 Million Dollars (approximately 51 billion shillings) every six months.
Initially, the government had planned to repay the loan through revenues from the road toll on the Entebbe Expressway upon its completion.
However, the road toll system on the Entebbe Expressway has not been implemented and the road was opened to traffic in June 2018.
Therefore, the Ministry of Works and Transport launched the Road Tolling Policy last April. The policy provides a framework necessary for regulation, management and operation of toll roads in Uganda.
The ministry also tabled the Roads Amendment Bill, 2018 in parliament to among others, facilitate a legal regime for road tolls in Uganda. The Road Tolling Policy is expected to operationalize the Bill, once it is enacted into law.
The Bill was brought for first reading on 26th September 2018 and referred to the physical infrastructure committee for scrutiny. The committee has not presented its report to the House. To date, Parliament is yet to pass the Bill.