In Summary
  • The new law seeks to control the spacing between billboards to reduce the cluttering of streets.
  • Outdoor advertising is the fifth largest source of internal revenue for the city’s administration, but this has been dwindling.
  • The county loses over Sh1.3 billion from the outdoor advertisers who evade paying licence fees and use dubious means while declaring the number of billboards for approval by the county before installation around the city.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has signed into law a bill that seeks to review fees payable for outdoor advertising and signage in the county to match existing market realities.

Mr Sonko assented to the Nairobi City County Outdoor Advertising and Signage Control and Regulation Bill, 2018, on Wednesday.

The new law provides a framework to regulate the advertising industry by seeking to tighten the noose on outdoor advertisers through introduction of stricter enforcement methods against defaulting by advertisers, increasing rates paid for displaying adverts and curbing on destruction of the environment by the advertisers.

In June, former acting Finance executive Charles Kerich labelled billboards and advertising as one of the county’s revenue streams that was to undergo review of its fees and charges with a view to enhancing compliance, expanding the bracket of payers and tightening management controls for more efficient collection and accountability.

“In order to improve our capacity for internal revenue mobilisation and improve the city’s competitiveness as a destination for investment, I will be proposing a review of fees payable for outdoor advertising and signage to match existing market realities,” said Mr Kerich while reading Nairobi County’s budget statement.

According to Outdoor Advertisers Association, Sh160,000 is the minimum monthly charge for 10 by 12 metre billboards in Nairobi and other major towns.

The law also seeks to control the spacing between billboards to reduce the cluttering of streets with publicity materials, reduce the number of signposts placed along roads including billboards — whose number and size have been growing in the last decade — and lit box advertisements placed on street light poles.

According to the regulation, no more than one advertising structure should be visible along a given sight line along major corridors.

Page 1 of 2