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Embrace the saving culture, boda-boda operators advised

ICT and Innovation Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng has urged boda-boda operators to embrace the saving culture in order to uplift their socio-economic status.
He made the appeal in Busia County on Wednesday while opening a two-day Boda-Boda Safety Association of Kenya Covid-19 and Economic Empowerment conference.
The PS said the industry is a key sector in the country’s economy hence the government has moved in to support, streamline and institutionalise it.
“We purposefully came here to sensitise the operators on how they can transform themselves economically through a Boda-Boda Investment Scheme and champion the fight against Covid-19 spread.
With over 1.4 million boda-boda riders in this country completing 22 million rides per day, the industry continues to play a significant role in every sector of our economy,” he said.
Approximately 5.2 million Kenyans are directly or indirectly impacted by the sector which represents 10 percent of our population with an estimated revenue of over Sh350 billion annually.
This he said is achievable if each boda-boda rider commits to saving Sh50 daily which translates to a total of Sh70 million per day.
He said the government and other stakeholders have kick-started countrywide sensitisation forums to educate  operators on the need to save and acquire loans for self-growth.
ICT Innovation and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru who made a virtual address hailed the riders for choosing to pull together to save and invest collectively in future through the investment scheme.
“Given the contribution the industry makes to our economy, it is remarkable to see that you have recognised the need to economically empower yourselves and better your lives.
By pulling together to save and invest in your future collectively, you will secure your welfare and safety,” the CS told the riders.
Boda-boda Association of Kenya national chairman Kevin Mubadi said a large percentage of riders in the three counties they have so far held meetings have expressed the desire to be part of the investment scheme.
He said: “This scheme is specifically for the boda-boda riders. It will be different from other loaning institutions. Its’ saving and loaning regulations will be different bearing in mind the many challenges the riders go through.
Besides giving out loans it will offer insurance services, take care of their welfare in case of death and a retiring member will have something to take home.”
He disclosed that the National Youth Service is training 8,000 instructors who will in turn move across the country and ensure all riders are trained and licensed at a cheaper cost of Sh750.
Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said the operators as transporters, are key stakeholders in the country’s development hence they should be at the forefront in the fight against Covid-19 spread.
“Coronavirus is real and it is dangerous .We can only guard against it by observing the set health protocols,”he said.
Others present at the forum included Busia County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri, and Taxiye CEO Eve Maina among others.
The Busia sensitisation forum follows President Uhuru Kenyatta’s launch of a Boda-Boda Investment Scheme last month in Nairobi aimed at giving an opportunity to the operators to save and invest for their future by making a daily contribution of Sh50.
The Collective Investment Scheme according to CS Mucheru will provide access to credit, financial security and retirement benefits to the members of the Boda-Boda Safety Association, which will in turn impact the livelihoods of every member of the group in ways that are unprecedented.
The scheme as envisaged is regulated by the Capital Markets Authority which ensures that its operations are protected under the law and provides accountability to each individual under the scheme. This is different from a “chama” that has no regulations except as designed by
the members.

By Melechezedeck Ejakait


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