NRF 5 Years of Existence and the Need for Autonomy
The National Road Fund of Liberia (NRF) is one of Liberia’s government entities immensely contributing to the country’s economy which is largely dependent on natural resources and foreign aid.
On December 12, 2016 the National Road Fund was established by an act of the National Legislature published January 26, 2017.
At the moment, the current Road Fund Amendment Bill is being debated in the Lower House and what is even more important is that, it will capacitate the NRF to source funding, mitigate fund flow risk and allow matching funds and international financial institutions to lend money for our road infrastructure. This is not a “political football” but in the best interest of the country.
Due to international economic and financial crisis and the raise of green energy in automobile industry, new paradigm has to be found to increase Road Fund revenues. Therefore, most countries have move towards 100% autonomy of the Road Funds. Ghana in recent time allow all funds collected deposited into the Road Fund Account directly, not through the Ghana Consolidated or single treasury account.
From what has been gathered, the Ghanaian parliament and government swift action has led to the fund attracting potential financing institution to lend them funds. UBA has just lend them over 300million. National budget cannot do it.
In its early days, NRF was set up in Ministry of Finance Development planning (MFDP) 1st floor building responsible for the day to day management and administration of the National Road Fund.
Accordingly, the functions of NRF shall be to- (a) administer and manage the Road Fund;
(b) prepare and publish audited annual accounts of the Road Fund,
(c) recommend to the Minister fuel levy and other road user charges and
tariffs as required;
(d) recommend to the Minister projects for funding; (e) allocate resources-
for the construction, maintenance and rehabilitation Of roads based on a percentage of the annual work programme of the Road Development Agency; and
(b) for road transport, traffic and safety management based on a percentage of the annual work programme of the Road Transport and safety agency.
Since its operationalisation in 2017, NRF under Mr. Boniface D. Satu has scored significant high marks in its program activities, especially in helping to boost must need government revenue and increase road connectivity.
Characterized by indomitable willpower and unshakable persistence, the Agency made tremendous progress in the areas of road maintenance, rehabilitation and emergency intervention as a way of fulfilling its promise of improved road construction and connectivity in the country.
Testament to that, it is now been reported that over US$100 Million has been generated from the Notational Road Fund remittance and is impacting major road maintenance works across the country.
The head the National Road Fund of Liberia (NRF) Mr. Boniface D. Satu, was recently in the United States attending a global conference on “Reaping the Full Benefits of Road Tolling and Road Users Charging.”
The IRFGlobal Conference featured power point presentation and noteworthy sessions that provided important insights on what future generation roads and mobility will look like especially in Liberia too.
The IRF Global R2T Conference and Exhibition convened from October 31-November 3, 2022 in Washington DC, USA with key actors from around the world participating in the event.
From what has been gathered, the IRF Global R2T Conference has quickly established itself as a top destination for global innovators and decision-makers in the roads and mobility sector, making it an ideal place to learn and share best practices about the latest technologies and solutions.
According to a dispatch from Washington DC, the National Road Fund of Liberia was well represented and was amongst some of the active participants at the event.
He highlighted the issues of citizens demand for more roads and stressing the need to find lasting solutions for road financing.
More importantly, between the period of January to June 2022, the LRA collected a little over US$13 million, but the NRF has received up US$18 million an overage from money generated during the period of the last rainy season when road works were halted.
Mr. Boniface D. Satu, in a August 4, 2022 MICAT press briefing said the Ministry of Finance to date has transferred more funds to the NRF than the LRA has raised because during the rainy season, roadwork is challenged and funding for the road fund was withheld for the dry season.
From what has been gathered so far, it hasn’t been all that easy, especially between the period of 2018 to 2020 which was the critical path in road fund generation affected by COVID-19 and other issues.
In recent weeks, NRF has launched a management and accounting application in Monrovia, with the aimed of improving and strengthening financial discipline, transparency of financial management systems at the National Road Fund of Liberia.
The exercise, according to a Road Fund release is intended to keep the National Road Fund on track with other governmental institutions as well as regional and international bodies.
Since NRF existence, the agency has gained international recognition by credible and well known international institutions. The International Road Federation, a global not-for-profit organization, with headquartered in Washington, DC, the United States graciously awarded the National Road Fund Liberia for its professional services in Liberia.
Major Road Rehabilitated
A report on Liberia Annual Road Maintenance and Expenditure Program in the possession of this paper suggest that the National Road Fund Agency road maintenance and rehabilitation activities took place across 15 counties in Liberia.
The report highlights key progress made in the areas of road maintenance, rehabilitation and emergency intervention as a way of fulfilling its promise of improved road construction and connectivity in the country.
The report also reflects key emergency interventions made along inaccessible routes to tackle bad road condition and alleviate high transportation cost. This includes, the Voinjama – Barziwein Road corridor in Lofa County, Ganta – Loyee Road Corridor, Nimba, Caldwell – Dixville Road Corridor, Bend & Stop – E.J. Goodridge Housing Estate Road, Pepper Fish Road and Nimba United Road, Tubmanburg – Bopolu City Road, Bomi, respectively.
As a means of realizing government development agenda in reaching other hard-to-reach areas due to deplorable road conditions, the agency during fiscal year2020/2021 implemented series of road rehabilitation projects. This included; the Johnsonville -Mt. Coffee Water Treatment Plant, Arch Bishop Michael Francis Road and Voker Mission Road, ELWA Rehab Road and the Kailondo Key Hole Road, Duazon Sand Beach Road, Sophie Road and Soul Clinic Road, Thinker Village (Telecom) Road, Redemption Road & Smythe Road, ELWA Rehab Community Road, Pipeline Road, Marshall Road, Margibi County, Dry Rice Market – Johnsonville Road and RIA Highway Construction (RAP Payment) among others.