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Editorial: Nairobi Expressway Toll Deal With Chinese Contractor Risks Creating Another “White Elephant”

The new Nairobi Expressway that's being constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation. Image via @NrbXpressway_Ke.

The Business Daily Editorial Board warned the government that the proposed toll road pricing scheme for the new 27km Nairobi Expressway jeopardizes the financial stability of the project and risks creating another “white elephant” like the embattled Standard Gauge Railway.

The government allowed the China Road and Bridge Corporation, the contractor who is building and will operate the expressway, to charge toll fees based on inflation and the dollar exchange rate. 

Business Daily thinks this is a terrible idea:

The projections and decisions on pricing and demand should be tested on the basis that a huge part of the population is poor and middle-class, meaning that overpricing the toll expressway may leave it underutilized.

High toll charges will make the expressway the preserve of the rich, which means few users. It may go the way of the standard gauge railway (SGR) which is struggling to lure cargo transporters, who ought to be making enough money for it to repay the loans.

Read the full editorial on the Business Daily website.

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