A new study shows that boda boda sector provides one million direct jobs for riders earning Sh1 billion daily.
A study of the sector by listed firm Car & General (C&G) which sells motorcycles, their spare parts and other engineering equipment shows that it also supports six million livelihoods indirectly, about 10 percent of the country’s population.
C&G estimates that each rider makes an average of Sh1,000 per day from an average of 15 rides, translating to a daily income of Sh1 billion or Sh365 billion annually for the one million of them.
This is equivalent to 3.4 percent of GDP and almost matches the output of Kenya’s education sector, whose contribution to GDP stands at 3.8 percent.
The Treasury is also raking in about Sh60 billion yearly in fuel taxes from boda bodas, which consume an average of Sh300 worth of petrol each in a day.
This translates to Sh300 million worth of fuel each day, out of which about Sh163 million goes to the government in form of taxes, levies and other charges.
“There are 1.2 million riders in Kenya. Nine out of 10 are used for commercial purposes, representing over one million jobs created. Seventy-five percent are youth and six percent are female,” says the C&G report.
The motorcycle business was put in the spotlight this week after some riders assaulted a female motorist on Nairobi’s Wangari Maathai Road (formerly Forest Road), sparking widespread condemnation of the so-called boda boda menace.
A widely circulated video of the incident shows the woman screaming for help as she was stripped of her clothes and groped. There have been arrests, condemnation and calls for tighter regulation of the boda boda sector.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday ordered a crackdown on all boda boda operators countrywide. The operators were given 60 days to obtain smart licences and join registered saccos, which will in turn be required to maintain a digital register of their members for easier identification.