Next year’s road budget even more massive

The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) has secured 22 billion birr to work on infrastructure during the 2012-13 fiscal year. Most of the Federal government’s budget goes to ERA.  Before the end of the fiscal year on July 8, ERA’s budget allocation is expected to be approved by the House of Peoples Representatives.
Sources at the Authority told Capital that 18 billion of the 22 billion birr ERA is receiving will come from the government treasury, while four billion will come from external loans and grants. This year ERA received a total of 18 billion birr, higher than any federal office, and three billion birr more than the previous year: a trend that shows no sign of slowing.
Even though ERA secures the highest budget allocation every year the authority generally never gets the full amount it requests although sources say next year’s amount is closer to what they asked for. The exact amount however remains undisclosed.
In the coming budget year, ERA plans to carry out new asphalt road projects, upgrading trunk roads, rehabilitation and heavy maintenance, most of the projects are major programs undertaken by ERA over recent years. In addition to securing the highest budget allocation every year, ERA also gets a higher supplementary budget than other offices. This year it received five billion additional birr. 
Recently ERA officials told Capital that the total budget allocation for the roads envisioned 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.
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.