The Nairobi Bars, Hotel and Liquor Traders Association membership today, Wednesday 22nd November, 2023 met to deliberate of their proposals to the recently revised license fees a day after the Nairobi City County Governor Johnson Sakaja held a meeting with the members of various Bar Owners Association leadership to deliberate on issues affecting the liquor industry.
Speaking at Nairobi’s Blue Springs Hotel, Bahita chairman Simon Njoroge said that they had convened the meeting to seek the views of members ahead of another meeting with Governor Sakaja that is due in seven days.
“We have a very accommodative governor and because he agreed to meet us and discuss the increase in liquor licenses that the county government has increased from the current Ksh 25,000 to Ksh 100,000, we want to go to the negotiating table with the views of our members as well as assure the governor that the traders, who are our members are committed to pay licenses but would like the costs to be lowered,” Njoroge said.
The Bahita Secretary General Boniface Gachoka, who moderated the session that was attended by over 100 bar owners from various areas of Nairobi asked the members to be considerate that the county government has to raise revenue and the fees increased are the same that had been lowered to cushion traders during the Covid-19 crisis calling on them to ensure they comply with the government by paying licenses.
“we want to have a very clear discussion with the governor who is ready to listen to us. We will present our resolutions but we all must agree that we should pay for our liquor licenses. If we agree that we want a review to Ksh 40,000,we must all be committed to pay the licenses,” Gachoka said.
During the open session, members proposed to be issued with a one off license that includes liquor license, single business license and the other requirements as demanded by the county government suggesting that a levy of Ksh 40,000 would be agreeable and affordable to all of them.
The members opined that the county government had not succeeded to rope in all 13,000 bars to pay for licenses with only 30 percent of the traders in Nairobi complying. The said that raising the fees to 100,000 shillings would further lead to more traders evading licensing and called on the Sakaja administration to review the fees down words to be able to net more traders.