Egis Road Operation was in May last year awarded a contract by Uganda National Roads Authority to operate and maintain the 26.2KM Kampala – Entebbe Expressway. It is expected to collect toll fees on behalf of government and provide high quality road management adding value to road users. The Independent spoke to the company’s Public Relations Manager, Joy Nabasa, about the progress so far achieved.
Briefly describe the background of Egis Group
Egis is an international group in the engineering and mobility services with the objective of creating a sustainable future across every aspect of infrastructure consulting, engineering and operation. We have evolved over the last 90 years offering building and infrastructure engineering as well as transport. Egis is established in over 100 countries in the Middle East, India, Latin America, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe. We work with local partners to demonstrate our capacity to structure a comprehensive operation and maintenance offer and commit to it. In Uganda, Egis has over 300 employees with only 3 expatriates who are there to transfer technical knowledge to Ugandans.
What have been Egis achievements this year in regards to the Kampala -Entebbe Expressway?
Since toll collection commencement in January, we have been able to collect Shs13 billion on the Kampala – Entebbe Expressway. Averagely, we receive 20,000 passages per day on all the toll plazas which is above our targets. We came up with a unique prepaid solution to our frequent customers who use the expressway. We launched the Upesi card which allows road users to preload their accounts and just swipe at the different tolls on the expressway.
How does the Upesi card work?
The Upesi card is first and foremost a convenient tool for road users who do not want to spend time exchanging money at the toll booths. I’m happy to report that many road users have embraced this and we have over nine 9,500 Upesi cards purchased and used by road users since commencement of the toll fees collections. The Upesi card enables the holder to enjoy fast convenience service with just a swipe at the toll gates which takes only five seconds and you exit. Secondly the Upesi card holder enjoys convenience at a great discount compared to the customers paying cash.
How is Egis promoting road safety on the expressway?
We have been running road safety messages to our social media community in a bid to drive awareness of how expressways are used. We launched this campaign at the beginning of the year and we have got some good results from this. Key tips along the expressway revolve around driving within the speed limit, keeping left unless overtaking, avoiding driving under the influence of alcohol, keeping an appropriate distance between vehicles and others that we have been making the public aware of. Our second initiative on road safety aside from the sensitization campaign is the toll-free emergency line 0800270170, which can be used by our customers at all times of the day and we will be able to assist them. We are also currently working on the lighting along the expressway which will enhance its security and safety for road users. We are working on an ambitious project which will see the road fully lit by the end of the year.
Lastly, what would you want Ugandans to look forward to in the near future from Egis Road Operation?
Ugandans should know that operating and maintaining Kampala – Entebbe expressway is the first of many infrastructure developments of Egis in this country and we look forward to providing better service delivery, create more job opportunities to Ugandans to learn and acquire more skills and knowledge on more projects we are yet to embark on here in Uganda. As Egis Road Operation Uganda, we are here to build a smarter and sustainable future for Ugandans.