Nairobi parking fees drop to Sh200 as MCAs reject Sonko raise

Economy

Governor Mike Sonko Governor Mike Sonko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Motorists in Nairobi are set to enjoy reduced parking fees from next month MCAs cut the charges by a third to Sh200 and shot down Governor Mike Sonko’s proposal to increase the service to Sh400.

The ward representatives revised the Finance Bill that slashed daily parking fees to Sh200 from Sh400 that the executive had proposed.

Motorists currently pay Sh300 per day in parking fees, which is the biggest revenue stream for City Hall having raised Sh1.88 billion in the year to June.

The plans by the Sonko-led administration to raise parking fees was not in tandem with his campaign promise of halving the charges to Sh150.

“After consultations with various stakeholders including the ward representatives, we have agreed to slash the parking fees in order not to overburden motorists,” said Mr Sonko yesterday.

The cut will ease motoring expenses that rose in September after the introduction of an eight per cent value-added tax on fuel and the rising crude oil prices at the time.

A litre of petrol is currently retailing at Sh118.60 in Nairobi, up from Sh108 in August.

But charge look set to hurt income from parking fees that accounted for 18.6 per cent of Nairobi’s Sh10.1 billion revenue for the year to June.

City Hall has struggled to raise revenues needed to upgrade roads and clear garbage in a county that salaries gobble more 60 per cent of its total income.

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Mr Sonko said his administration would review the fees in future after the completion of ongoing projects to reduce congestion in the central business district (CBD).

“I know that this (reducing the fees) will increase congestion in the city centre but again we cannot punish Nairobi residents because the projects like BRT and construction of bus termini outside the CBD are still ongoing,” said the City Hall boss.

His predecessor Evans Kidero increased parking fees to Sh300 from Sh140 in 2013.

The Bill — which has been lying at the county assembly for two months — was initially supposed to be passed by September 30 in line with the law, but the House got an extension yesterday.