The government on Monday sought to allay fears that the Kenyan taxpayer will bear the burden should the Chinese fail to recoup their investment in the Nairobi Expressway.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Macharia denied reports that Jubilee government would be forced to pay the Chinese contractor the Sh65 billion used to construct the expressway.
A social media user by the name Jonathan Abere (@JonathanAbere) had challenged the CS on what would happen if Nairobi Expressway failed to attract enough traffic to pay for itself.
“There is a clause if the people dont use it well enough to generate targeted cash the govt will bridge the gap. jubilee govt you have just been a failure in the making,” Abere asked.
To which Macharia responded, “Let’s be factual, there is no such a clause; and GOK is not guaranteeing anything. If there will be zero traffic on Expressway, investor bears full risk: 65B.”
Another Twitter user, Philip Marube(@marube_philip), sought answers on whether the cost of the major raised highway was inflated.
“Is it true sir, that the initially approved budget for the expressway was 23B and now it is being executed at 63B?” Marube asked.
To which the CS responded, “Philip, it’s a private investment: we don’t need to budget for it.”
Yet another Twitter user @nairobilord posed, “The express way will revert to our ownership after 30 something yrs. It's a concession. Till then the owners will collect tolls to repay themselves. That's why they are in a hurry to complete it.”
CS Macharia replied, “This is a new project, so it will not revert; rather it will be transferred to GOK for nothing after they recover their investment.”