Nairobi — A cabinet minister has said that Sh24 billion is lost annually on the roads by motorists due to traffic jams.
Nairobi Metropolitan minister Mr Njeru Githae said private motorists ought to be banned from entering the central business district in order to ease traffic congestion.
Mr Githae said it was only in Kenya where public service vehicles (PSV) are denied access into the city's Central Business District unlike other countries. "Private motorists should be banned from the city centre. At the same, until certain things are done we cannot tell people not to use their vehicles," said Mr Githae.
He said the notice by the city council of Nairobi intending to bar upcountry PSVs from accessing the city centre was premature since it was against what professionals had suggested.
"How do people reach the city centre if they are dropped at Kariokor or Westlands (Nairobi city suburbs)?" asked the minister.
The minister said there was need for having one way streets and removing of parking for matatus at the city centre. The minister made the remarks during the closure of Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) annual convection at Whitesands hotel in Mombasa.
He said plans by his ministry to make Nairobi more competitive will proceed as planned. Mr Githae said with the construction of a super highway from Nairobi to Thika,it would be prudent to set up a domestic airport at Thika and that Jomo Kenyatta international airport be left for international flights.
The minister said that plans were underway to assist PSV owners get full returns from their investments noting that they lose almost 40 per cent of their earnings to police, gangs and even their employees.
He said the loss by investors in the public transport made it impossible for them to investor in big passenger vehicles.