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Shipping & Logistics

Boda bodas ride out tough economic times

Boda bodas and tuk tuk registration in the past year rose by 22,172 units, defying tough economic times that that have hit most Kenyans.
Boda bodas and tuk tuk registration in the past year rose by 22,172 units, defying tough economic times that that have hit most Kenyans. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Boda bodas and tuk tuk registration in the past year rose by 22,172 units, defying tough economic times that that have hit most Kenyans.

Official data shows total units registered increased to 217,425 from 195,253 recorded in 2018, underlining their continued rise in demand.

The spike in newly registered boda bodas and tuk tuks came amid a credit crunch that saw banks shun lending to individuals and small businesses which are considered high risk customers.

“The number of newly registered motor cycles increased by 11.4 percent to 217,425 units in 2019,” read the Economic Survey 2020.

Boda bodas and tuk tuks has continued to gain popularity as means for ferrying passengers and goods owing to their ability to access certain areas where taxis and matatus cannot.

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Their convenience and affordability have driven their popularity over the years.

A boda boda costs between Sh58,000 and Sh150,000 with the affordable costs enabling many youths across cities and rural areas to acquire them.

The Economic Survey shows the number of newly registered boda bodas rose from 188,994 units in 2018 to 210,103 in 2019. The data also indicates newly registered tuk tuks increased by 17 percent from 6,259 units in 2018 to 7,322 units in 2019.

Kenyans experienced cash flow challenges that affected their spending following the coming into effect of the interest rate cap, that was later scrapped.

The government in September 2016 imposed the legal caps on lending rates at four percentage points above the Central Bank’s benchmark.

This is what led banks to shun lending to high risk customers and preferred doing business with corporates and the government.

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