Growing consumerism in Nairobi has seen the mushrooming of outdoor advertisement, especially along major roads such as Thika, Mombasa, Ngong, Lang’ata and Waiyaki Way but this has not translated into added revenue for the county.
Outdoor advertising is the fifth largest source of internal revenue for the city’s administration, accounting for over Sh700 million annually but this has been dwindling with every passing year.
The revenue stream raked in Sh720.02 million in the 2016/2017 financial year but this dropped to Sh698.05 million in the just concluded 2017/2018 financial year.
Former Lands executive Peter Wachira, now Agriculture executive, earlier this year said that Nairobi County had over 200,000 signage and over 1,000 large format advertisements which nets City Hall a paltry Sh700 million annually on average against a potential of over Sh2 billion.
He said that the county loses over Sh1.3 billion from the outdoor advertisers who evade paying licence fees and using dubious means while declaring the number of billboards for approval by the county before installation around the city.
Mr Wachira noted that the county was losing Sh1 billion annually from 200,000 owners of small format signage in shops and stalls in Nairobi who are supposed to pay Sh5,000 per signage but fail to do so.
He stated that outdoor companies are required to pay Sh1.3 million for each large billboard and between Sh20,000 and Sh50,000 for the small ones per year.
“We only collect 20 per cent from all installed billboards. They install 100 billboards but they seek approvals for only 20 of them. They are evaders of licence fees denying City Hall Sh1.3 billion in revenue. We are supposed to raise over Sh2 billion from the advertisers but we get a paltry Sh700 million so they take away from the county government over Sh1.3 billion,” said Mr Wachira.