Revelers in Nairobi will have to put up with fewer clubs in the county if a new bill seeking to cap the entertainment joints at 3000 is adopted into law by the County Assembly.
The new bill, proposed by the County Liquor and Licencing Board, is set to be presented in the Assembly in two months time.
According to Nairobi County deputy director of liquor licensing Hesbon Agwena, the move is aimed at cutting down the increasing number of bars in the city.
Appearing before County Assembly Budget and Appropriation committee on Monday, Agwena said the move will also look into a number of clubs in an area and the distance between them.
He revealed that in 2014, when the board came into operation, there were 7,200 clubs licensed in Nairobi, adding that the number has been on the upward trend since then.
Agwena noted that currently some of the clubs in Nairobi are operating illegally. According to him, most of these clubs operate in informal settlements.
For instance, Mr Agwena said, the Central Business District (CBD) has 2, 000 bars but only 736 have valid licenses.
“We are coming up with a policy, which is currently before the Board, that will inform the number of bars that Nairobi should have, location, distance between one another and even enforcement. We are looking at scaling down the number to 3, 000 bars only in Nairobi. Eldoret for example has only 800 bars,” said Mr Agwena.
He highlighted that the 7,200 figure is the highest number of bars that have been levied by the county in the 2014/2015 financial year, adding that the number has been decreasing ever since.
“We only license those that are in a plot and with a plot number but since most are on top of residential houses they cannot get licensed. If we enforced the law then more than 4, 000 bars will be affected as they do not meet our set standards,” said the deputy director.
Statistics indicate that the county has not been doing well in revenue collection in the entertainment joint sector.
For instance, in the 2017/2018 financial year, the county collected Sh254 million in annual revenue from 5000 clubs against a 7000 target. The figures are reportedly low even in the current financial year.