Nuusita Ashipala Ondangwa-The Road Fund Administration (RFA) last Friday signed several procedure manual agreements with 14 approved local authorities and five regional councils. RFA is expected to sign agreements with 57 local authorities by the end of this week. The agreements were initiated two years ago to improve funding allocation to approved local authorities and by extension, settlements within the regional councils. The procedure manual agreements are effective from April 1 with provision to be reviewed after every three years depending on the need for the revision. RFA Chief Executive Officer, Ali Ipinge, said the procedure agreements are also set to fortify relationships between RFA and the local authorities. “I believe this really help us to have a much better engagement as stakeholders and also clarify what is your expectation from RFA and also from us what is the expectation from us as an investor in your road management programme,” said Ipinge. According to Ipinge, the exercise should not be regarded as a punitive measure and a constraint to road maintenance funding. He said the process is a streamlining of operational efficiencies to serve the approved local authorities better, and for increased benefits to the road users. “The RFA would like to see proper budgeting, project planning and optimal utilisation of the allocated funds at local and regional authority levels,” said Ipinge. RFA will pay for work done and such money not utilised by the end of the financial year would be returned to treasury. He further stressed that the mandate of the road fund is to maintain and preserve roads infrastructure, however, it does not fund construction of the new roads. Ipinge said RFA is committed to meet the funding requests of the local authorities and as such has increased its funding by 39 percent to N$117 million from N$85 million. It is the hope of the road fund to continue increasing the budget yearly depending on the availability of funds. He encouraged the local authorities to submit their budget requests to RFA by September 30th every year in order to qualify for funding.
2018-03-06 08:49:54 6 months ago