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Murkomen defends adjustment of Expressway toll rates

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has defended a recent move to review toll rates on the Nairobi Expressway.

In a gazette notice, Murkomen approved an increase in toll rates to Ksh. 500 from Ksh 360, a 39% increase, sparking off a major debate. But the CS insists the new rates are justified citing the performance of shilling against the dollar.

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“The adjustment was done based on the Project Agreement taking into account the depreciation of the Kenya Shilling to the United States dollar since the time of gazettement of the Toll Rates in April 2022,” he said in response to Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi

“The last adjustment was done when one dollar was equal to Kshs 113.14. Now the dollar is Ksh 157 and using the same method i.e. 157 minus 113 which is equal to 44. Divide 44 by 113 and multiply by 100 and you will get 38.9 %,” he explained, maintaining that “the increase is proportional”

According to Murkomen, the formulae for computing the new rates are embedded in the agreement taking into account the loan facility by the investor which was borrowed using USD.

“The Cabinet Secretary and the government of Kenya have no discretion but to follow the agreement as established in 2021,” he said

“The good thing about expressway is first that the government of Kenya did not give traffic volume guarantee otherwise the taxpayer would now be paying a lot from the interest accrued and inflation plus the difference unmet by less traffic flow,” he added

Murkomen, in the meantime, has said the consumer still has an alternative route which is not tolled.

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