President Kenyatta has advised boda boda operators to develop a strong saving culture so as to avoid being misused by selfish individuals.
The president urged the riders against allowing others to misuse them for personal gains and challenged them to work hard.
“If you don’t respect yourself and depend on handouts you will end up being people who are usable and disposable,” he said.
He asked them to embrace the culture of integrity and dignity in order to win the trust of investors and the masses and succeed in their business.
“Your own personal integrity, the way you handle yourself and the way you handle the resources and assets of others will create an ability of those that you lead to trust you.
“The more they trust you, the more they will save, the more chances that they will become together with yourselves successful entrepreneurs in this country who can shape and transform our economy through hard work,” The President said.
The Head of State was speaking at Pumwani Social Hall in Majengo, Nairobi County on Friday where he presided over the launch of the Boda Boda Investment Scheme.
An opportunity to invest
The scheme is aimed at giving opportunity to the operators to save and invest for their future by making a daily contribution of as little as Kshs 50. In return, members of the scheme will benefit from discounted rates from various service providers.
For instance, the riders will enjoy a discount of Shs 3 and shs 10 on a litre of super petrol and a kilogram of cooking gas respectively from Rubis Energy which has a network of 310 petrol stations spread across the country.
Mr President also spoke about the challenges facing SACCO’s in the country. He singled out lack of trust as the biggest undoing for most of the self-help arrangements.
“The truth is there has been a problem, especially with SACCO’s. A person contributes every day but at the end the leader runs away with the money. And it is someone’s money which they have worked for it and they trusted you as their leader,” he said.
The Head of State advised the leadership of the new Boda Boda Investment Scheme to adhere to the leadership principles of dignity and trustworthiness to make the new outfit successful.
Leaders make decisions
“To be a leader you have to sometimes make difficult decisions which are not popular. You have to consistently endeavour to build trust between yourself as a leader and your subjects. Because if there’s no trust why should somebody put their money with you?” President Kenyatta posed.
On the importance of the boda boda sector to the Kenyan economy, the President said the service is a “silent economic miracle” and termed the sector as a sleeping economic giant because of the huge amounts of money handled by the operators daily.
“With an average daily earning of 700 shillings a day, the sector’s annual earnings are estimated at 357 billion shillings. Every single day, boda boda operators collect 980 million shillings,” the President further noted.
He said the sector had grown into a multibillion industry within a very short period adding that, if well managed, it had the potential to make even more money and wealth.
To illustrate his point, the President said that an average of Kshs 180 million is collected daily by approximately 1.4 million known riders in the country, which amounts to Kshs 6.8 billion in a week and Kshs 27 billion every month.
Despite the impressive collections, the president regretted that boda boda operators continue to suffer economic hardships because of the haphazardness in the sector.
President Kenyatta, therefore, praised the formation of the investment scheme and pledged continued Government support to the sector which he lauded as a key mover of the Kenyan economy.