The silent economic giant

Posted by: KSG-admin Post Date: November 16, 2020

The silent economic giant

By Stella Wairimu

On 23rd October, 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Boda Boda Investment Scheme by Nabo Capital, a subsidiary of Centum Investment Company. This effort aims at providing up to 1.4 million boda boda riders with technology enabled savings and investments platform. The Head of State, who then addressed a meeting at Pumwani Social Hall in Majengo, Nairobi County, advised chairmen of motor cycle (boda boda) operators from across the country to develop a strong saving culture.

“As leaders you may have to make difficult decisions which might not be popular, so long as you build trust with the clients you serve,” President Kenyatta’s speech read in part.

And last week the operators’ chairmen, in line with the President’s commitment, were assembled at the Kenya School of Government in Lower Kabete for an Induction Program, an exercise which was led by the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Mr. Joe Mucheru.

Mr. Mucheru reiterated the President’s message to the boda boda operators; to take advantage of the opportunity that has been availed for a saving culture to invest in their future. He confirmed that the Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya (BAK) has partnered with Nabo Capital in mobilizing members to invest in the scheme.

“Under the guidance of Nabo Capital, which will manage the funds in the Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) for the riders in adherence to the regulations of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), the boda boda operators should make a better living,” said CS Mucheru.”

He called for unity amongst the operators explaining that the scheme will begin by enrolling 100 riders from each of the 47 counties and gradually build up to cover the 1.4 million boda boda riders countrywide.

This initiative, he said, is aimed at empowering the riders into more lucrative ventures that would enable them to become successful entrepreneurs and contribute in shaping and transforming Kenya’s economy.

Indeed, during the launch of the initiative, the President said that the boda boda industry has potential to excel, assuring them of government support through partnering with BAK to make the best of an industry that the riders have built from the ground up.

“The average daily earning of a boda boda operator is Kshs. 700 shillings. This means the sector’s annual earnings is estimated at 357 billion shillings. Every single day, therefore, boda boda operators collect 980 million shillings,” the President noted.

Contextually looked at, the boda boda industry supports approximately 5.2 million Kenyans which translates to approximately one out of ten Kenyans making a livelihood from the boda boda business. These statistics make the sector a sleeping giant that needs to be awakened.

The operators’ representatives were trained on four key thematic areas including fostering discipline, understanding the Traffic Act, offering basic first aid services in case of occurrence of accidents, and proper riding skills.

Noting that the average age of boda boda operators in Kenya is between 18 35 years, the Secretary for Youth Affairs Mr. Raymond Ochieng advised the riders to remain focused, urging them to apply for the affirmative funds allocated to the youth to help them access capital to invest in their businesses.

“The plan here is to develop and progress your lives so that you can move from riding a boda boda to owning one and later to running a fleet of the same,” Mr. Ochieng said.

The initiative, he announced, will be beneficial to members as they will earn a fuel rebate of Sh3 for every litre fueled at Rubis Petrol Station. In addition, Mr. Ochieng said, the riders will make a daily Sh50 contribution via mobile money though a USSD number provided or a mobile app and stand to earn interest at a rate higher than bank deposits and Treasury Bills.