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File photo: Notícias
The government of Mozambique is considering granting national roads to private operators as one of the strategies to obtain the necessary financing for construction and maintenance works.
The Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water acknowledges that the current situation puts pressure on the State due to the scarcity of financial resources to support infrastructure development programs in general and roads in particular.
Speaking at the opening of the annual joint review meeting with cooperation partners of the Integrated Road Sector Program (PRISE), minister João Osvaldo Machatine pointed out that the situation, “challenges us to identify and attract new sources and ways of mobilising resources to invest in the road network of the country “.
According to the minister, the situation forces those responsible to intensify their actions in search for alternative financing, including donations and concessional credits, public-private partnerships and business associations.
The focus, according to the minister, should be the opening of roads in agricultural areas and other possibilities that can contribute to the increase of jobs and income in rural communities.
Machatine urged his staff to improve performance, notably the Road Fund [Fundo de Estradas] and National Road Administration [Administração Nacional de Estradas], at a time when the results of last year´s analysis shows that, achievements have fallen short of what had been planned due to financial constraints.
According to the minister, as an example, 15,481 kilometres of roads, of an initial plan that foresaw works on 18,719 kilometres, were subject to intervention.
In terms of expenditure, the sector disbursed 11,692 million meticais last year. However, the projection had been to apply 18.55 million meticais, the minister stated.
The cooperation partners of the sector, represented on the occasion by the European Union, reaffirmed their willingness to continue to assist, but stressed the need to maximise the application of the few available resources. They also called for the inclusion of disaster risk reduction in the road projects, given the increased risk of adverse events.Source: Notícias
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