Flagship road and rail rehabilitation projects
Local aspirations of turning Namibia into a logistics and transport hub for southern Africa were not disappointed this week with the tabling of the new Appropriation Bill.
Documents released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Finance as part of the budget, show that a total of N$34.41 billion over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework period (MTEF) has been earmarked for the economic and infrastructure sectors under which the road and rail projects fall.
Minister of Finance, Hon. Calle Schlettwein said in his budget statement that the money allocated to the economic and infrastructure sectors over the period is to stimulate growth and enhance the competitiveness of the economy through developing a robust transport and logistics sector. urrently Namibia is seeing a number of upgrades and expansions to its harbours, airports, railways and roads infrastructure. Said the minister, “railway and road rehabilitation, the expansion of the port of Walvis Bay and the Kudu Gas-to-Power project are the flagship projects over the framework.”
In his statement the minister said N$3.27 billion will be allocated over the three-year period for roads projects, in addition to N$1.7 billion to be raised by the Road Fund Administration.
Added Schlettwein, “N$945.84 million will be for railway projects, with funding outside the scope of State Revenue fund to the tune of N$3.79 billion over the medium term expenditure framework.”
Schlettwein said these allocations will cater for growth-enhancing infrastructure in the logistics and energy sector as well continued interventions in the agriculture sector to boost national food security.
Meanwhile in a Bank of Namibia focus paper for September 2014 under the theme Infrastructure Financing in Namibia, it was noted that despite such an extensive road network, most of the country’s road infrastructure has been in existence prior to independence and is in urgent need of rehabilitation and maintenance, as outlined in the NDP4 document.