Kenya: City Hall Issues Tough Advertising Rules

City Hall has brought down illegally erected billboards and outdoor advertising structures in Nairobi.

The county has lost at least Sh15 million every month from unapproved billboards.

The county has over 200, 000 signage and another 1, 000 large format advertisements which nets City Hall a Sh700 million annually instead of over Sh2 billion.

The exercise, which is set to continue for the next six weeks, saw a number of billboards erected without the county government's approval along Waiyaki Way flattened.

Nairobi County Lands and Urban Planning executive Charles Kerich said that only 15 per cent of the 48 major outdoor advertising companies were complaint with the Nairobi City County Outdoor Advertising Act, 2018.

ADVERTISING FEES

He said the firms had applied for approvals and were already remitting advertising fees to the county.

He said that 85 per cent of the companies were using dubious ways, including talking to land owners to allow them erect billboards, to evade paying fees to City Hall.

This, he said, had led to the congestion of billboards on major roads in Nairobi.

Mr Kerich said the worst affected roads were Thika highway, Waiyaki Way, Mombasa, Lang'ata, and Ngong Roads.

"No one shall erect any advertising structure within the county without the county government's approval," warned Mr Kerich on Tuesday.

He said that all advertising structure owners must declare the number of structures they have as well as monthly occupancy schedule. They will also be expected to pay dues to City Hall by the 10th of every month.

REVENUE

"Failure to pay advertising fees in time amounts to an attempt to conceal information for the purposes of evading to pay county revenue," he said.

The Lands executive explained that outdoor advertisers owe City Hall in excess of Sh227 million in outstanding debt for the period between October 2018 and February this year.

Outdoor advertising is the fifth largest source of internal revenue for the county. According to Outdoor Advertisers Association, the minimum charge for billboards measuring 10x12 metres in Nairobi is Sh160, 000.

He warned affected firms that their application for approval to erect or change a billboard or advertising structures will not be considered until they clear all arrears owed to City Hall.

Advertisers have been advised to brand their structures for easy identification.

CLEAR DEBTS

"Should any company fail to clear its debts, the site will be given to another company," he said.

He said that branding vehicles and buildings without the county government's approval is illegal.

Mr Kerich said that those advertising in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Wilson must also pay the advertising fees to the county.

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