Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

ERA needs 19 bln birr more

The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) is requesting 19 billion birr in additional funding for federal road and related projects in the 2012/13 fiscal year.
The federal road office that consumes a higher amount of money than any other federal office has submitted its budget proposal to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED).
According to sources at ERA, the authority had requested a higher amount than the stated 19 billion birr, but it revised its original budget request following MoFED’s order.
Even though ERA secures the highest budget allocation every year, the authority usually never obtains the full amount it requests. In the coming budget year ERA has plans to carry out new asphalt road projects, upgrading of trunk roads, rehabilitation and heavy maintenance.
A few weeks ago ERA also submitted a five billion birr supplementary budget request to the Ministry, MoFED, for the current budget year. According to sources, MoFED has not yet given its final approval for the supplementary budget request.
In the current fiscal year, the federal government has allocated 18 billion birr for the Road Authority, which is higher than any other federal office and about three billion birr more than last year.
Recently ERA officials told Capital that the total budget allocation for the road projects in the Growth and Transformation plan (GTP) was not sufficient to meet the target. The budget of 81.1 billion birr for five years will not be sufficient to meet the goals of the Road Sector Development Program (RSDP) IV. Hence the authority has already applied for an additional 20 billion birr for its projects under the GTP plan.
The agencies say they need more money because of inflation and the rising cost of materials. According to the five year program ERA will construct 4,331Km of new roads. Most of the money will come from the federal coffers and external loans.
Officials at ERA told Capital that on Monday 26, 2012 the Authority will submit the official budget request for MoFED. In the past three quarters of the budget year ERA has accomplished about 90 percent of the major projects it has worked on. Despite the results the ERA officials are hoping for even more.  “If the maintenance work included the total performance can reach 100 percent we will be happy but we calculate primarily using the main projects,” a source said.
“The last quarter of the budget year that will end in July 7, 2012 is a critical period for meeting the authority’s target,” officials added. MoFED has already approved the supplementary budget that ERA requested a few weeks ago. According to sources, the finance office has agreed to release a little below the total amount that ERA requested, which was five billion birr.
“The additional budget will support us in meeting our,” officials explained.