No respite for Mama Mbogas, smokie vendors and hustlers at large as SAKAJA orders them to pay for annual licenses with immediate effect or else…

 Monday, February 19, 2024 - Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has ordered the immediate payment of one-year licenses for mama mbogas and other small-scale businesses operating within Nairobi, or else they will not be allowed to operate.

In a statement, the Governor noted that starting this week, Nairobi County Executives would hit the ground in intensified revenue collection.

As such, all cess payments for businesses that operate long-term were ordered to be transitioned to Unified Business Permits with immediate effect.  

“Any business that runs consistently at one spot for over six months will be required to acquire a Unified Business Permit (UBP) including in markets and also those allowed to operate on road reserves,” Sakaja directed. 

Justifying the move, Sakaja remarked that the UBP was cheaper in the long term compared to the daily cess. 

Additionally, he added that most of the time, the daily cess payments are not received at county headquarters leaving the small businesses to daily harassment from Kanjos.

“We must quickly embrace technology because it has the potential to increase revenue collection, monitor compliance, and facilitate compliance,” the governor directed. 

The decision to switch to UBPs for small businesses was arrived at during a revenue mobilisation meeting chaired by Sakaja and attended by County Executives, Chief Officers, and Directors in charge of Revenue Collection and Sub County Administration. 

With the move, Sakaja foresees Nairobi County setting a record in revenue collected since the inception of devolution. 

Sakaja remarked that the small business switching to UBP, would seal leakages and enhance efficiency on top of increasing revenue targets.

UBP was introduced on January 1, to end the issuance of multiple business licenses. 

“The UBP combines the business, fire, food, health, and advertising licenses into one,” Sakaja stated then. 


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