Bodaboda operators have been given up to the end of June this year to be fully registered to help tame the sector that has been on the public limelight for all the wrong reasons in the past few days.
Speaking at the Nyeri Huduma Centre during the official launch of registration of bodaboda riders, Mr Abednego Etyang, an official at the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, says the government has set 60 working days for the registration and issuance of Smart Driving Licenses in all the 52 Huduma Centres countrywide.
The registration process will require the rider to present him or herself in person and provide original National Identity Card, a copy of KRA pin number as well as an active registered phone number where a notification of issuance of Smart Driving License will be sent to the registered number upon the processing of the registration information.
“This exercise has officially begun and it will run up to June 24. Let all the bodaboda operators out there take advantage of these 60 working days the government has set aside for them. They should know that if they fail to register within the given time, the government will take strict measures against them and that includes operation denials,” Etyang said.
The Official has also said that the primary objective of the exercise is to streamline the bodaboda sub-sector and promote road safety and security for both the operators, as well as the pillion passengers.
“The bodaboda sector plays a vital role in the growth of the country’s economy. In order to continue boosting this sector, this new registration of bodaboda will help the government to regulate the operators conduct. It will even make it easier to identify the crooks that have invaded the sector and take the necessary actions against them,” Etyang stated.
Etyang has also added that the government will provide 12 months health cover to the first 200,000 bodaboda riders who will register and get licensed.
Speaking to over 200 riders who had shown up during the launch, Etyang has urged the riders to come up with Savings and Credit Co-Operative Societies (SACCO) after the registration exercise in order to enjoy government benefits through such societies.
“By the end of this exercise, we are looking forward to have registered over 2.5 million riders countrywide. Kindly take advantage of government loans and other dividends to registered societies by also doing so among you as bodaboda operators,” Etyang added.
Speaking also, the Nyeri County Commissioner, Mohamed Barre, has refuted claims that the government is belittling the bodaboda sector adding that the government values and appreciates the role of the bodaboda sector in the country’s economy.
The CC urged the riders to take advantage of the exercise to avoid being on the wrong side of the law.
“Let no one lie to you that the government is fighting or demeaning the bodaboda sector. We have all gathered here because of this important sector. How can the government set 60 days and all those desks at the Huduma Centres countrywide to serve a sector that it does not value?” the CC posed.
On his part, Nyeri Chairman of open-air taxi operators Charles Ndegwa, has urged other riders to avail themselves in the registration process adding that it will be of great help to them as bodaboda operators.
“I am calling upon my fellow operators to come out in large numbers and carry on with this exercise. There are more desks set to serve us so the exercise is very simple and quick. Let’s cooperate and avoid being on the wrong side of the law,” Ndegwa said.
By Ann Ngure and Kiama Wamutitu