Governor Ochilo Ayacko mulls plan to offer financing to boda boda riders

Governor Ochilo Ayacko speaks during the opening of an NCBA bank branch in Migori town on September 15, 2023. [Caleb Kingwara, Standard]

Migori Governor Ochilo Ayacko has unveiled plans to collaborate with financial institutions to provide accessible financing for motorbikes in a move aimed at improving the livelihoods of boda-boda riders in the county and safeguarding them from predatory loan sharks.

Speaking at the inauguration of the NCBA bank branch in Migori town, Governor Ayacko highlighted the pressing need to address the challenges faced by boda-boda riders in the region.

These riders have long struggled to secure loans for purchasing motorbikes, often falling prey to unscrupulous lenders who impose exorbitant interest rates, making it even more difficult for them to break free from the cycle of debt.

Governor Ayacko emphasized the importance of offering affordable financing solutions during these trying economic times.

"Boda boda riders play a vital role in our community, providing essential transportation services and supporting their families. It is unacceptable that they have to endure the burden of loan sharks and crippling interest rates. We need to step in and make a difference in their lives," said Governor Ayacko.

The collaborative effort between the county government and financial institutions aims to provide boda-boda riders with access to loans at reasonable interest rates, allowing them to acquire motorbikes without falling into debt traps.

This initiative is expected to alleviate the financial stress faced by these riders while promoting economic growth within the county.

The Governor's announcement was met with applause and optimism from the boda-boda community in Migori County.

Samuel Odhiambo, a local boda-boda rider, expressed his gratitude for the move saying that it will end their strain as some of them had had their motorcycles repossessed by shylocks over loan payment.

"This is a game-changer for us. Many of us have been struggling for years to afford a motorbike and escape the clutches of loan sharks. With this collaboration, we finally see a ray of hope," Mr. Odhiambo said.

The Governor encouraged all financial institutions operating within Migori County to join hands in this endeavour, emphasizing the positive impact it would have on the local economy and the well-being of the boda boda riders.

He also urged boda boda associations and unions to work closely with the government and financial institutions to ensure the success of this initiative.

As Migori County takes this step towards providing affordable financing for boda boda riders, it sets a precedent for other regions facing similar challenges to address the needs of their communities and promote sustainable economic growth.

NCBA Group Director Tirus Mwithiga expressed his commitment to the bank towards helping boda boda access loans at affordable rates to cushion them against the challenges they faced.

"In a bid to address customers' needs, we will focus on providing customers with a broad range of financial products and solutions including savings and current accounts, loans, investment solutions for boda boda riders, wholesalers, and asset finance solutions for retailers," Mr Mwithiga said.

Mwithiga said they would provide the residents with access to financial services customized to meet their individual needs.