M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in opening the Investment Authority (INA) agreement signing event on Thursday proclaimed that during his seven-year term as President, 1,900 kilometers of toll roads have been built across the nation.
He further said that the toll road construction under his term is the quickest compared to the last 40 years, which only reached 780 kilometers. Jokowi claimed he was able to lead the construction of the tolls after finding the solution for the underlying issue that had always existed.
"I see the problem is always in the financing, and not searching for alternative financing," said the President in the event aired online on April 14.
The President said that before his presidency, toll road constructions were always dependent on the State Budget funds, funds from State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), to partnerships with private entities. However, he believed this construction scheme was not running properly.
As a solution, he said the government launched the Investment Authority (INA) which acts as an institution that seeks and matches domestic and international investors. "This is an alternative financing scheme that was previously not thought about," said President Jokowi.
He said INA had just signed a Rp39 trillion investment deal which will be used to fund the ambitious 2,900 kilometers Trans Sumatra toll road project.
"I am enthusiastic about imagining the trans-Sumatra toll road from Lampung up to Aceh 2,900 kilometers apart. The rough calculation is Rp90-110 billion for each kilometer. How much is the budget required for it? It is surely huge," said President Jokowi, who believes investors' trust in INA will heavily depend on the success of this project.