Senior State House officials have dismissed media reports that President Uhuru Kenyatta will be seeking to borrow an estimated Ksh180 Billion while on his trip to France.
Daily Nation through its online platforms had reported that Kenyatta was scheduled to sign a public-private partnership (PPP) deal worth Sh180 billion for the dualling of the 190-kilometre Rironi-Nakuru-Mau Summit Road.
State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita questioned the credibility of the story, terming it an outright lie. According to Nzioka, the president was not going for a loan.
"Nation, how does a PPP become a loan? Your story is an outright lie. The Nakuru-Mau Summit Super Highway will be a TOLL road given to a concessionaire to finance, build and operate. Through the Toll Fund recently enacted by the National Assembly, the government of Kenya will guarantee the availability of traffic," stated Nzioka in a tweet rebutting the Nation story.
This means road user will be paying a small fee to use the road. It is this money that will be used to repay money used on the project.
"The combined effect of expanding Waiyaki Way from James Gichuru - Rironi and the new toll road from Rironi - Mau Summit will completely transform the economies of counties along the route. Later the planned Mau Summit - Malaba expansion will complete the corridor to western Kenya," adds Nzioka.
A toll system is a form of road pricing typically implemented to help the government and investors to recoup the cost of road construction and maintenance.
Tolling with a consortium of French firms under Rift Valley Connect led by Meridiam Infrastructure Africa Fund will enable President Kenyatta unlock the funding of the road, which once complete will be the country’s first toll highway outside Nairobi.
President Kenyatta will meet his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace in Paris where he will sign the deal.
The French government is also a key player in the construction of the Nairobi CBD-JKIA railway whose works are expected to commence in the coming days.