Within the East African Region, Uganda was the last country to launch a second generation road fund. In August 2008, Parliament passed the Uganda Road Fund Act, with the object of financing routine and periodic maintenance of all public roads undertaken by designated agencies based on funds generated from road user charges.
The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is designated in the URF Act to maintain national roads while other designated agencies are responsible for District, Urban and Community Access Roads.
By aspiring to ensure a stable, adequate and timely flow of funds to agencies, the URF provides the opportunity for the implementing agencies to plan for efficiency and effective delivery of maintenance on their respective categories of roads. The anticipated gains due to such stable and predictable financing, together with effective monitoring of fund use, will bring improvements to the condition of road; reduce road maintenance costs; encourage a vibrant local construction industry; reduce road maintenance backlog and eventually reduce total transport costs, with the consequent gains to the national economy.
Adequate, timely and reliable financing of road maintenance for a safe and efficient network.
To manage the Fund with prudence, integrity and transparency in a commercial, cost effective and in efficient manner.
Principle Of Operation
The URF aspires to principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its operations. It also seeks to operate in a business-like manner, while remaining responsive to customer needs. These principles will move public roads away from the normal budgetary allocation process into a market domain that embraces paying for use of roads under a‘fee-for-service’ arrangement.
In other words, road users pay for use of road space as well as the wear and tear they impose on it. The corresponding charging instruments have in-built provision for achieving equity among the various classes of road users. The Uganda Road Fund Act, in section 21(3), envisages independence of the Fund from the general taxation arrangement of Government. The Fund has the mandate to collect funds and to disburse the resulting monies to agencies based on agreed work programmes enshrined in performance agreements.
The sources of funds, listed in section 21 of the Act, include:
- Road User Charges, Including:
- Fuel Levy
- Transit Fees
- Road License
- Axel Load Fines
- Weight/Distance Charge
- Traffic and road safety fines
- Appropriations by parliament; and
- Other donations, grants and fines.
The arising funds may be used for routine and periodic maintenance of public roads, road safety activities, expenses of UNRA and URF, research and other relevant activities.