Roads ministry stands by increased trasnport fees
The Ministry of Roads and Bridges in Sudan insisted on the increased transit fees on national roads, while the National Chamber of Trucks was vehement in its opposition to the decision.
The rift between the Sudanese Ministry of Roads and Bridges and the National Chamber of Trucks continues due to the recent increases on transit fees for national roads.
The National Authority for Roads and Bridges recently implemented the Ministry of Finance’s increase for interstate transit fees for public and private cars by 600%.
Member of the Steering Committee of the National Chamber of Trucks, Ismail Mohamed Othman, said that they were surprised by the decision and stressed that they would not consider it.
In a Blue Nile TV interview, Othman described the increase as illogical and something they were not consulted about.
He stressed that the land transport sector is in suffering, revealing that 12,000 trucks out of 22,000 working in the sector have been decommissioned, in addition to a number of companies having to stop work to avoid major losses.
Othman explained that moving a truck from Khartoum to Port Sudan and back costs 900,000 pounds for gasoline only, while the price of a single tire exceeds 200,000 pounds.
He announced the committee’s rejection of these increases, and explained that truck drivers were directed to pay the old transit fees instead.
The steering committee member denied that they had gone on strike, and stressed that toll points were crowded with trucks and that the trucks were “paralyzed.”
No Backing Down
For his part, Deputy Director of Traffic Safety at the Ministry of Roads and Bridges, Hadi Hussein Abdel Rahman, described the increased fees as normal, hinting at there being an irrational fear of the increases.
He also explained that there are a number of companies who showed no resistance to the increases, and that trucks have been going to and from Port Sudan with no problems.
Abdel Rahman said that the price of deporting one ton from Port Sudan to Khartoum rose from 1,000 Sudanese pounds to over 25,000.
He added that transit fees were low compared to the new increase and are equivalent to the price of one ton deportation.
He explained that the legal tonnage allowed was 56 tons maximum due to an official law intended to preserve the collapsed road network.
Abdel Rahman also said that the crossing fees for small vehicles moving from Port Sudan to Khartoum, for example, went up from 560 to 3720 only, which does not even cover the cost of one passenger ticket.
Ismail confirmed that they will proceed with the decision regardless, and that the fees will go towards road maintenance, noting that maintaining one kilometer of road costs around 150 million Sudanese pounds.