Night ban causing “80pc loss” on small businesses

January 17, 2014
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Speaking to Capital Business, the traders claimed that they were counting losses of up to 80 percent since the ban was imposed/XINHUA FILE
Speaking to Capital Business, the traders claimed that they were counting losses of up to 80 percent since the ban was imposed/XINHUA FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 17 – Various businesses at the main up-country bus termini in Nairobi have urged the government to lift the ban on unlicensed PSV night travel as it was negatively affecting them.

Speaking to Capital Business, the traders claimed that they were counting losses of up to 80 percent since the ban was imposed.

Businesses affected include, taxi operators, restaurants, retail shops and miraa traders around bus stops in Nairobi and major towns across the country.

Operators claim they will soon go out of business if the ban is not lifted.

“Our business has gone down by 80 percent and we are now closing earlier since the night travel ban was imposed. We have a room capacity of 20, before the ban we used to be full board every night, now only six rooms are taken,” explained Jane Wangui, Manager Young Club Lodging on River Road.

Sharing the same sentiments was a Mike Mwangi, a taxi driver who operates around Tea Room in Nairobi, who said since the ban he now only goes home with Sh1,000 while before he used to make about Sh3,000 a day.

“This travel ban has negatively affected my business, because the customers I was counting on were night travellers who come from Mombasa in the night and come in the morning now since the ban, I have no customers in the morning, I am now only targeting the travellers who jet in at 6 pm and by then, they always have transport, Its really bad, I might be forced to close shop,” Mwangi explains.

He also explained that his customers are complaining of the same. “I used to have customers who used to come in from Kisumu in the morning, we run errands the whole day and then they get to Kisumu the same evening; that has since stopped,” he narrated.

Also opposed to the ban is a businessman from Nairobi, who runs two other businesses in Mombasa and Kisumu. He pointed out that the night travel ban has increased expenses in his business operations.

“I manage my businesses once too often, work I used to do in two days I do it in four days now, which means more expenses and I use more time and time is money. I think the problem is not buses operating at night, I think the problem is with the police, they do not do their work to keep unroadworthy vehicles out of our roads, now their ineffectiveness has been implicated on us. It’s unfair,” Gilbert Nyende laments.

Midland restaurant Manager Ann Wanjiru also told Capital Business that she is worried that the night travel ban will bring about joblessness as traders will be forced to close shop.

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