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Boda boda operators minting Sh980m a day, Uhuru says


The boda boda industry is emerging as one of the biggest drivers of the economy, with operators generating Sh980 million a day.

This was revealed on Friday by President Uhuru Kenyatta when met the Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya (BAK) at the Pumwani Social Hall, Nairobi.

He described the sector as full of potential that can be of great importance only if it puts mechanisms into use of its daily collection.

“With an average daily earning of 700 shillings a day, the sector’s annual earnings are estimated at 357 billion shillings. Every single day, boda boda operators collect 980 million shillings,” said President Kenyatta.

During the meeting, President Kenyatta said the boda boda sector has grown into a multibillion industry, saying the association has the potential to make more money than all the 47 counties receive from the National Government.

“Boda boda industry is a sleeping giant that needs to be awakened which is why boda boda investment scheme is a great idea. Every individual should take pride in paying the price for what they want. If you do not pay the price, someone will pay to misuse you,” he said.

He wondered why the riders are always complaining of being broke all the time yet the sector accumulates over Sh27 billion on a monthly basis.

“Every year, the boda boda industry collects Sh357 billion, if you collect almost Sh1 billion a day, why does every boda boda rider cry of hard economic times?” he posed.

According to the president, the sector supports, directly or indirectly, 5.2 million Kenyans which accounts for 10 per cent of the population. “This means that one in every 10 Kenyans makes his livelihood because of the business that you do.”

“My advice is to tell you to leverage your numbers.. look at things not in an individual aspect, but in a collective point of view. At times you’ll have to make unpopular decisions hence the reason why I came with a lean team. But always think of yourselves first and be careful not to be swindled based on political grounds,” he added.

The presidents meeting with boda boda riders in Nairobi comes just weeks after his deputy William Ruto who has been widely targeting the youth with several initiatives aimed at helping them start informal sector businesses donated Sh2 million to Kisii Boda Boda Sacco members, urging the recipients of the funds to use the money to expand their businesses.

The President during the Mashujaa Day celebrations at Gusii stadium, Kisii county, gave the clearest indication that he would not let his deputy ran away with the youth agenda.

The president who was accompanied by ODM Leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday held a session with hundreds of boda boda riders drawn from Kisii and donated Sh3 million.

Ironically, they have previously criticised Ruto’s harambee’s and handouts for the youth and boda boda riders.

Conspicuously missing during the Pumwani event was Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, with the president urging Nairobians to rally behind the Director-General of Nairobi Metropolitan Service Maj-Gen Mohammed Badi who was present.

The boda boda Collective investment scheme was signed between the association and a host of partners including Rubis Energy Kenya, in the presence of the president, will see members contribute Sh50 every day towards the scheme.

President Kenyatta underscored the importance of a sector he described as a silent economic miracle saying it remains a critical player in the country.

ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru said the collective scheme is part of an elaborate plan to bring sanity by enhancing accountability in a sector that has gained notoriety for disregarding existing laws.

“The intention is to get as many people as possible organised. If such industries are successful, a lot of growth can be recorded in the country,” he observed.

According to Mucheru, the government plans to create similar enabling structures for other informal sectors including farmers, salons and barber shops.

Speaking at the same function, Boda boda safety association national chair Kevin Mubadi, said the association remains committed to work with the government to transform the sector.

The collective investment scheme will be regulated by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) with Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) being the custodian and Noble capital acting as the fund manager.