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CS Murkomen allays fears of fuel price hike

Many Kenyans have raised concerns that the proposed 38% increase in Road Maintenance Levy will increase fuel prices

Roads CS Kipchumba Murkomen speaks during a public participation session on July 8, 2024
  • Cabinet Secretary for Roads, Transport, and Public Works, Kipchumba Murkomen, addresses proposed increase in the Roads Maintenance Levy
  • Ministry acknowledges concerns about the hike's impact on cost of living, promises to analyse public feedback before making a decision
  • Government committed to exploring alternative funding mechanisms without increasing petroleum prices

Cabinet Secretary for Roads, Transport, and Public Works, Kipchumba Murkomen, has addressed the nation on the proposed review of the Roads Maintenance Levy from Sh18 t0 Sh25 per litre of fuel.

CS Murkomen said that the ministry had noted Kenyans' concerns regarding the proposed increase in the Road Maintenance Levy.

Many fear that if implemented, the hike could exacerbate the cost of living by increasing the price of fuel.

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"We will analyse the reports received on email and social media platforms, as well as the submissions made today, and come up with a decision that corresponds with the recommendations from the public," he assured.

The CS said the government is committed to exploring alternative funding mechanisms that align with public sentiment and do not increase petroleum prices.

"As suggested by Kenyans, we will only make this decision when we are certain that any revenue measures adopted will not result in a rise in the cost of living," Murkomen stated.

The Cabinet Secretary thanked Kenyans for their active participation and input in the consultation process, underscoring the importance of public involvement in shaping policies that directly impact their lives.

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The government now faces the challenge of balancing the urgent need for road maintenance with the imperative to safeguard citizens from further financial strain.

The final decision on the Roads Maintenance Levy review is anticipated to be made after thorough analysis and consideration of the public's feedback.

Murkomen highlighted the significant expansion of Kenya's road network, which has grown from 166,451 kilometers in 2016 to the current 239,122 kilometers.

This expansion necessitates regular maintenance, funded by the Sh18 per liter Road Maintenance Levy that has remained unchanged for the past eight years.

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Despite this, the country faces a maintenance shortfall of Sh78 billion for the current financial year, projected to balloon to Sh315 billion by the 2028/2029 fiscal year.

The Cabinet Secretary expressed concern over the neglected state of roads under the Low Volume Seal program, many of which have not been maintained for a decade and are at risk of deterioration.

The proposed review of the Roads Maintenance Levy aimed to address this critical funding gap.

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