COSASE Orders Forensic Audit of Entebbe Express Highway Maintenance Costs

The Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises – COSASE has recommended a forensic audit of the 918 million Shillings’ monthly maintenance for the 51.5km Kampala-Entebbe Expressway. 

The recommendation stems from a probe report of COSASE conducted in November 2022 following the report of the Auditor General for the Financial Year 2020/2021.

The Committee Chairperson Joel Ssenyonyi noted that the 918.47 million Shillings contract awarded in May 2021 to M/S EGIS Road Operation S.A, a French engineering firm to undertake a 60-months performance-based management contract valued at 122 billion Shillings per month, exclusive of Value Added Tax – VAT and other contingencies is excessive.

According to the contract terms, in the first six months, EGIS was expected to provide road safety facilities that include; expressway lighting, security services, axle-load control/monitoring system, routine road maintenance, and emergency maintenance works at all times.

But Ssenyonyi revealed their finding discovered that since the commencement of usage of the expressway, lights have never been installed rendering it dark at night causing insecurity, and accidents to motorists, and impacting negatively revenue collections.

Further, COSASE discovered that EGIS through the tolling collection system that commenced on January 8, 2022, currently fetches an average of 2.8 billion Shillings out of which Uganda National Roads Authority – UNRA is obliged to release 900 million Shillings and sometimes one billion Shillings to the company for maintenance.

Maurine Osoru, the Arua City Women Representative raised concerns that guardrails on the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway are being vandalized and urged UNRA and the Police to provide regular patrols on the road and trace the criminals.

The Committee also faulted the expressway contractor China Communications Construction Company – CCCC for failure to fix the defects within the required three months and directed UNRA to provide an update to Parliament.

Construction of the 51.4 km road kicked off in 2012 courtesy of a $350 million from the Exim Bank of China loan credit while $126 million was a contribution from the Government of Uganda. The credit loan is repayable over a period of 40 years.

UNRAs Director of Maintenance Eng. Joseph Otim disclosed that the money generated from toll collections is expected to meet Uganda’s loan obligations. Recently, Eng. Otim revealed that they have surpassed the initial two billion Shillings they set out to collect 2.9 billion Shillings per month.

He added that originally, the traffic was estimated at about 14,000 vehicles per day but now about 21,000 vehicles daily. This money is banked in an escrow account and part of that money is used for maintenance of the road and other improvements.

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