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President Kenyatta launches boda boda investment scheme, urges youth to adopt saving culture 

NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 23 —President Uhuru Kenyatta has advised boda boda operators to develop a strong saving culture so as to avoid being misused by selfish individuals.

The Head of State cautioned the riders against allowing themselves to be misused by others for personal gains and challenged them to work hard knowing that it is through hardwork that they can prosper.

“If you don’t respect yourself and depend on handouts you will end up being people who are usable and disposable,” the President said.

To win the trust of investors and the masses, and to succeed in their business, the President advised the operators to embrace a culture of integrity and dignity.

“Your own personal integrity, the way you handle yourself, 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 are able to shape and transform our economy through hard work,” President Kenyatta said.

The Head of State spoke Friday at Pumwani Social Hall in Majengo, Nairobi County where he presided over the launch of the Boda Boda Investment Scheme by Nabo Capital, a subsidiary of Centum Investment Company Plc, that will provide up to 1.4 million boda boda riders with a tech-enabled savings and investments platform.

 
The platform, launched on Friday at Nairobi’s Pumwani Social Hall will see the boda boda riders build a nest egg by saving Sh50 per day.

The scheme is aimed at giving an opportunity to the operators to save and invest for their future by making a daily contribution of Kshs 50. Members of the scheme will benefit from discounted rates from various service providers.

For instance, the riders will enjoy a Sh 3 and Shs 10 discount 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.

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The President also spoke about the challenges facing SACCO’s in the country pointing out that lack of trust is 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,” the President said.

And to make the new outfit sustainable, 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 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 those that you lead. Because if there’s no trust why should somebody put their money with you?” the President 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 on a daily basis.

“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 noted.

He said the boda boda sector had grown into a multibillion industry within a very short duration adding that, if well managed, it had the potential to make even more money.

To illustrate his point, the President said the 1.4 million known riders in the country collect an average of Kshs 180 million daily, which amounts to Kshs 6.8 billion in a week and Kshs 27 billion every month.

Also in attendance was the ICT Cabinet Secretary, Joe Mucheru.
 
Nabo Capital will manage the funds in the Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) for the boda boda riders, under the strict regulations of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).
 
The scheme will begin by enrolling 100 riders from each of the 47 counties, gradually building up to cover the 1.4 million boda boda riders countrywide.
 
“This is about empowering the youths and giving them a chance to build stability in their lives by scaling up their businesses to the highest levels attainable,” said the Centum Group CEO James Mworia.
 
The Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya will partner with Nabo Capital in mobilizing its members to invest in the scheme.
 
The riders will make the daily contributions via mobile money though a USSD number or mobile app and stand to earn interest at a rate higher than bank deposits and the 364-day Treasury Bill.
 
“The plan is to develop and progress them in life, to move from riding a boda boda, to owning one, to running a fleet,” said the Nabo Capital Managing Director, Pius Muchiri.
 
Members will also earn a fuel rebate of Sh3 for every litre fueled at Rubis petrol station.
 
The Boda Boda fund shall be the first sub-fund under the umbrella collective investment scheme dubbed Uhuru Sovereign Trust Fund that targets the youth and Kenyans working in the informal sector.
 
The platform, intended to promote financial inclusion and financial freedom, has been developed by Centum through its subsidiary companies including Nabo Capital which will be the fund manager, Sidian Bank which will be the receiving bank and Tribus TSG which developed the mobile application.
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