TRANSPARENCY International Zambia (TIZ) has called on the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) to ensure that citizens were well informed on how the money collected from toll gates across the country was being utilised.
And the NRFA has assured Zambians that the money collected from the toll plazas would be ploughed back into road maintenance and tally with the quality of works.
According to TIZ executive director Goodwell Lungu, the agency has so far collected over K1 billion since 2013 but that people were not well informed on the way that money had been used.
Mr Lungu, during a programme on ZNBC, said that people were obliged to know what was happening to the money they had been paying for road usage.
He warned that where money was concerned, there were always people with schemes to divert the money for their personal gain.
Mr Lungu said that there was need for the NFRA to use the money for the sole purpose for which the toll gates were initiated.
He noted that Zambians had not yet made a connection to appreciate what they had been paying for when using toll plazas on some feeder roads.
Mr Lungu pointed out that some of the roads where these toll gates were situated were still in a dilapidated state but that there was need to plough back the money on roads where it was collected.
“NFRA has done quite well in ensuring that people are well informed on the need to pay the fees. However, they are concerned because they are not seeing how this money is being ploughed back into these roads.
‘‘Some of the roads where these toll gates are situated were still in a dilapidated state and the situation is worrisome to motorists who have been paying toll fees,’’ Mr Lungu said.
Meanwhile, NFRA tolling services business manager Daniel Mtonga confirmed that the agency has since 2013 collected K1.1 billion which he said has been used to construct and rehabilitate roads across the country.
Mr Mtonga explained that most of the Government works such as the Link Zambia 8,000, the Pave Zambia and L400 road projects had benefited from the collections.
He disclosed that 80 percent of the total amount which was collected through toll fees was from foreign registered vehicles, while the other 20 percent was collected from locally registered vehicles.
Mr Mtonga pointed out that roads were expensive to maintain but that the money which had so far been collected by NRFA had gone back into the general pool of road development.
He however said that the agency would ensure that the money invested in a particular road project tallied with the quality on the finished product.
Mr Mtonga also assured that money collected at a particular toll site would be ploughed back on roads in the same area.