The Ministry of the Economy and Finance has unveiled the forecasts of the investment program of the ONCF group (National Railways Office) for the period 2022-2024. It amounts to more than 7.72 billion dirhams (billion dirhams), spread over 2022 with 2.9 billion dirhams, 2023 with 2.22 billion dirhams and 2024 with 2.6 billion dirhams.
It thus emerges from the report on public establishments and enterprises (EEP) accompanying the draft finance law (PLF) for the year 2022, that this program will be mainly dedicated to the rehabilitation of infrastructure and the renewal of equipment. rolling.
In order to perpetuate ONCF’s economic model and improve its financial situation, the memorandum of understanding, signed on July 25, 2019 between the State and the Office, provides for the implementation of an institutional and organizational restructuring plan. aimed at modernizing the rail sector through alignment with international best practices advocating the separation between commercial operation, on the one hand, and infrastructure development and financing, on the other, the same source said.
The new contract with the State, currently being finalized, should lay the foundations for the consolidation of the ONCF model and define the appropriate financing plan to accelerate the development of the rail sector in terms of regional planning and strengthening of connectivity between regions and major economic centers of the country.
In addition, the report notes that at the end of last June, ONCF achieved a turnover (turnover) of more than 1.6 billion dirhams for closing forecasts for the year 2021 of 3.34 billion dirhams.
Investments made in the first half of 2021 reached 687 million dirhams (MDH), i.e. an achievement rate of 25%, while the closing forecast for 2021 is 2.71 billion dirhams.
30 million travelers in 2021
On the other hand, the ONCF plans to end the 2021 financial year with 30 million travelers. “In terms of activity in 2020, the ONCF transported 21.1 million travelers (-45% compared to 2019) and plans to end the 2021 financial year with 30 million travelers”, the report indicates in this regard. on EEP.
In terms of freight, the Office transported 8.1 million tonnes (MT) of goods and 16.4 MT of phosphates in 2020, said the same source, adding that the forecasts for 2021 relate to a volume of 8.4 MT of goods and 15 MT of phosphates.
The rail sector has not escaped the impacts of the health crisis which slowed down the positive trend in the first three months of 2020 (+ 35% in terms of turnover). The impact particularly affected passenger activities with a drastic reduction in the number of trains in circulation, the loss of 98% of the turnover of the passenger activity over the period from March to May 2020 and the closure of several shops.
An emergency plan has been put in place to preserve ONCF’s financial health and ensure secure continuity of operations and activities for customers, employees and various partners via, in particular, an adapted financing plan coupled with to a business continuity plan.