The county government of Nairobi has put on notice some outdoor advertising companies over Sh234 million debt.
County executive in charge of Lands and Urban Planning Wachira Njuguna said the companies had accrued the debt over a year’s time after failing to pay the required fees.
“We are embarking on a campaign to make them pay all the outstanding signage fees for both the small formats and billboards, said Mr Njuguna, adding that the country will remove billboards belonging to the defaulters.
In addition, Mr Njuguna said the county would blacklist the defaulting companies and deny them the chance to transact business in the county by engaging directly with those who seek for their services.
According to the county official, outdoor companies required to pay Sh1.3 million for each big billboard and between Sh20, 000 and Sh50, 000 for the small ones per year.
“They are evaders of license fees. We are supposed to raise about Sh2 billion from the advertisers but we get a paltry Sh700 million so they take away from the county government Sh1.3 billion,” said Njuguna.
The CEC said that City Hall was only able to collect a fraction of the full fees they are supposed to get from the companies as a result of the county being short of enough personnel to monitor the ads.
“We only collect 20 per cent from all installed billboards because they install without coming through the city county. They install 100 billboards but they seek approvals for only 20,” said Mr Njuguna.
He also said 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.\
Mr Njuguna also said that they had resolved their differences with Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) on the mandate to control erection of billboards in the city blaming outdoor companies who were trying to circumvent the licensing process for causing the wrangle.
“We have no problem with the agency at all. It is those advertisers who are trying to circumvent the county to go ahead and take advantage of some rights that KeNHA has to allow advertisements along the major highways.
“But we have resolved this and they are now not allowed to advertise without paying us,” said Mr Njuguna.