The Kenyan dealer of the Nissan vehicle brand, Crown Motors, is the biggest winner in the police vehicle leasing programme supplying half of the 500 units delivered on Monday.
Crown supplied 250 units of Nissan Patrol SUVs and 100 Nissan pick-ups to the National Police Service (NPS). Other dealers who supplied vehicles are General Motors East Africa (80 Isuzu trucks), Toyota Kenya (20 Hino light trucks), and Urysia (50 Peugeot SUVs). The leasing tender is estimated to be worth Sh3 billion.
This marks the third phase under the programme that was initiated in 2010 in efforts to cut transport costs for police operations. The government previously bought vehicles from dealers and incurred the costs of insurance, maintenance and depreciation.
Under leasing, the state pays a fee to the respective dealers who undertake to provide a certain number of insured and serviced vehicles over several years.
In the current plan, car dealers have committed to service the government vehicles for a period of four years or until they clock 160,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.
The government, in return, pays a monthly, quarterly or annual fee and returns the vehicles to the dealer once the contract expires.
The move by the government, which accounts for a quarter of all new vehicles sales, to lease is setting up winners in the tenders for an opportunity to grow their market share significantly.
While presiding over unveiling ceremony, President Uhuru Kenyatta said delivery of the vehicles was a fulfilment of pledges made by the Jubilee administration to bridge the tooling gap in the police service.
In 2013, the NPS had only 3,155 police vehicles nationwide and most of these vehicles were in a state of disrepair.
“This sorry state of affairs meant that our police officers could not effectively execute their mandate of keeping this country safe and secure,” said Mr Kenyatta.
The police have to date received 3,280 vehicles under the national police vehicle leasing programme. Aside from these, the government procured 30 armoured personnel carriers as well as 25 mine resistant armored personnel carriers that will be deployed in the Coast and north Eastern Regions.
Unveiling of the new vehicles comes as government is grappling with pending bills amounting to Sh1.4 billion as at June 2016 mainly for leasing security vehicles.
Treasury secretary Henry Rotich has said the pilot phase of the scheme which involved the police service was a success, helping to cut down on costs of maintenance.
The Treasury is set to spend Sh8.1 billion to lease vehicles for security agencies in the next financial year ending June 2018, highlighting the financial burden of keeping the country safe.