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Although over 25 billion meticais (about 403 million US dollars, at current exchange rates) was budgeted for Mozambican road construction, maintenance and rehabilitation in 2016, in fact only 10 billion meticais was made available, according to a report given at the annual meeting reviewing the Integrated Road Sector Programme (PRISE), held in Maputo on Wednesday.
With the budget cut by 60 per cent, many road plans for the year had to be scrapped or drastically modified.
“In 2016, our achievements were heavily conditioned by the availability of resources”, said the chairperson of the Road Fund, Angelo Macuacua. Work that could not be done in 2016 for lack of funds had to be pushed into the future.
The Minister of Economy and Finance, Adriano Maleiane, told the meeting that the scarcity of resources meant that the government needed to be creative in seeking alternative sources of funding for its road programme. This could entail seeking assistance from additional foreign partners, and identifying new sources of revenue internally.
Maleiane, who was representing Public Works Minister Carlos Bonete, said the matter was urgent given the crucial role in the economy played by the roads sector. “It is inconceivable to have a developed agricultural system, if there is no means by which crops can be moved”, he said.
Despite the shortage of money, interventions were made in 2016 in 15,600 kilometres of roads. But a further 8,000 kilometres, which should have been built or improved, were not touched.
Macuacua said that the roads budget for this year is 18 billion meticais, with which the government hopes to intervene in 22,000 kilometres of roads. Much of the financing for roads and bridges comes from foreign partners, notably the World Bank, the African Development Bank (ADB), and the Islamic Development Bank.Source: AIM