City Hall unearths multi-million unlicensed billboards fraud
City Hall has launched a campaign to pull down illegally erected billboards and outdoor advertising structures, with the county losing at least Sh15 million every month from unapproved billboards.
The capital city has over 200, 000 signage and over 1, 000 large format advertisements from which City Hall nets a paltry Sh700 million annually against a potential of over Sh2 billion.
The campaign, set to go on for six weeks, is spearheaded by officers from the Lands and Urban Planning department.
On Monday, unlicensed billboards along Waiyaki Way were flattened by county officers.
Nairobi County Lands and Urban Planning Executive Charles Kerich said that only about 15 per cent of the 48 outdoor companies advertising in the county are complaint with the Nairobi City County Outdoor Advertising Act, 2018.
He said that the remaining 85 per cent are non compliant and have resorted to unscrupulous ways like talking to the owners of lands they want to use for their billboards to evade paying fees to City Hall.
This is what has led to the clutter of billboards being witnessed on major roads in disregard to the county’s law which prescribe distance between billboards, he said.
The worst affected roads are Thika Superhighway, Waiyaki Way, Mombasa, Lang’ata, and Ngong Roads.
“No one shall erect any advertising structure within the county without first seeking and being granted approval by the county government. It is not possible to have a scenario where there is rampant disregard of the law. If you have more billboards than clients then remove the unused ones,” warned Mr Kerich.
All billboard and advertising structure owners must now declare the exact number of their structures, as well as monthly occupancy schedule and settle their dues to the county by the 10th of every month.
“Any failure to do so amounts to an attempt to conceal information for the purposes of evading to pay county taxes which it relies to finance much needed services,” he said.
The Lands executive said outdoor advertisers owe City Hall in excess of Sh227 million from October 2018 to February 2019.
Outdoor advertising is the fifth largest source of internal revenue for the county according to Outdoor Advertisers Association