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Why City Hall wants to ban lamp pole advertising

Outdoor advertisers are heading for tough times after Nairobi City County refused to renew lamp pole advertising licences.

This comes amid controversy between the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) and City Hall over the awarding of the Western Ring Road lamp poles and billboards space to a monopoly.

County transport executive Mohamed Abdullahi said the removal of all advertisement from the lamp poles will take effect after the current outdoor advertisers’ contracts expire.

“City Hall is not renewing any contacts awarded to lamp pole advertisers. We will remove them all and leave the poles clean after their tenure,” said Mr Abdullahi.

The officer said City Hall enjoys a special tariff from Kenya Power on payment of power bills, therefore it was not fair to use them for commercial activities.

“We have a certain privilege we enjoy from Kenya Power from the lamp poles and, therefore, using the poles for commercial activity undermines this,” said Mr Abdullahi.

However, advertising companies have protested at the removal of their adverts on the Western Ring Road and the award of the contract to one firm.

Mr Abdullahi said he was not aware of any complaint on the matter.

On September 18, Kura acting director-general S M Kinoti wrote to City Hall, demanding the removal of adverts on the road.

The Western Ring Road covers Riverside Drive, Mandera Road, Ole Odume Road/Mazeras roads junction, James Gichuru Road-Yaya Centre-Ngong Road.