By Ragan Conteh
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Road Maintenance Fund Administration, (RMFA) Mr. Bashiru Sheriff while delivering the 2020 budget of the organization to the Technical Team of the Ministry of Finance has recommended for government to raise the fuel levy to the World recommended price of 12 United State Cents.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer noted that, the RMFA is recommending for the full constitution of the RMFA Board before the start of 2020 and an amendment of the existing legislation with a view to improve on revenue generation and collection.
Mr. Sherriff continued that, the Road Maintenance Fund Administration (RMFA) has budgeted over Le102 billion for the smooth operation of their programs for the 2020 fiscal year.
The RMFA also committed to work closely with SLRA, Local Councils, MoF, RWPA & other road stakeholders on a comprehensive road infrastructure strategic plan for 2018-2022.
Mr. Sheriff pointed out that as part of their deliverables for 2020, the institution has designed capacity building programs for local contractors to better understand the requirements for the implementation of road projects.
This is with the intention to increase value for money.
He continued that, in the short term, the RMFA in 2020 will continue to engage government at all levels to completely own-up the rehabilitation and reconstruction of road projects. This according to him will allow for the RMFA to primarily focus on routine and periodic maintenance in accordance with their mandate.
Mr. Sherriff concluded that, his institution will also continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders with the overall aim of improving on performance based road contract, thereby increasing efficiency.
According to him monies paid by the oil marketing companies to the SLRSA and by extension Government are one of the key revenue streams of the RMFA.A fuel levy of Le 295.37 per every liter on petrol and diesel he added is paid by the oil marketing companies.
Other streams of revenue for the RMFA he disclosed are vehicle registration and licensing fees collected on behalf of the RMFA by the SLRSA.
Speaking on the challenges and constraints of the institution, The RMFA Deputy Chief Executive Officer stated that the administration’s funding commitments for road projects had exceeded the current RUC receipts.
SLRA according to him has no comprehensive data to track all vehicle licensing and registrations thus, there is no set formula to determine how much contributions they make as an institution.
He further pointed out that, the provisions within these Acts appear to conflict with each other. The RMFA Act 2010, SLRSA Act 1997, Road Traffic Act 2007 have all presented challenges with regard revenue collection.
On the Administrative constraints, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer stated that, the lack of a fully constituted board has affected policy decision making and undermined the achievements of the institution.
Many of the road actors are largely reported to be underperforming.
The RMFA according to Mr. Sheriff has successfully disbursed funds to all local councils for their 2019 feeder road programs and also funded the Freetown City Council flood mitigation program for 2019 as well as effectively collaborated with other key implementing partners.
This according to him will ensure that, the RMFA create a Sierra Lone with the focus to create opportunities for socio-economic growth.
By Ragan Conteh