Roads Fund Administration (RFA) has said the construction of its tollgate at Jenda Trading Centre in Mzimba District will await the rehabilitation of the M1 Road.
According to RFA, the current road network is not worth a tollgate for revenue collection as it is in bad condition.
RFA Director of Finance Alex Makhwatha said this in an interview Wednesday in Mzuzu, after engaging officials from four councils of Chitipa, Rumphi, Mzimba and Nkhotakota on the utilisation of rural road maintenance programme funds.
Makhwatha said the tollgate will be strategically constructed at Jenda to raise funds for the maintenance of roads in the country.
“We have been delayed in constructing the tollgate at Jenda because of the condition of M1 road. Now that contractors have been engaged to maintain the M1 from Kasungu to Mzimba Turn Off, we think the road users will have a good road. When they will be completing that road, the tollgate will be ready. So, when people will be paying, they will value of the money,” Makhwatha said.
On the rural roads maintenance programme, Makhwatha complained that councils have been failing to support their projects which has led to shoddy work in some areas.
He said the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) they have signed Wednesday with the councils will renew their working relationship as the councils now have a supervisory role.
Rumphi District Commissioner Emmanuel Bulukutu Chirwa acknowledged the laxity in supervising NFA rural road maintenance projects pointing out that there was no formal agreement.
“Now, that we have formalised our agreement, we will be able to monitor the projects and ensure they are done with quality.
“Of course, some communities have complained that what they get is little, but this is an issue we can look into and see how these people who work on the roads are happy,” Chirwa said.
In the 2021/2022 financial year, the government allocated K1.6 billion for the rural road maintenance programme but according to Makhwatha, all the funds have been utilised.