Nairobi Liquor Board to Use Smart Licenses for Alcohol Outlets, Establish Rehab Centre

July 3, 2023

The Nairobi City County Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing Board has set a revenue target of Ksh 1 Billion for the financial year 2023/2024. Their aim is to raise this amount through the regulation and licensing of alcoholic drinks within the county.

Currently, Nairobi has a total of 13,000 bars and restaurants. By effectively regulating these alcohol outlets, the board anticipates that their efforts will lead to the successful achievement of the targeted revenue collection.

Mike Rabar, the Chairperson of the Board, has announced a comprehensive five-pronged program for implementation. This initiative includes the adoption of a “Smart licensing” program, which, once implemented and operational, will be instrumental in identifying bars that are operating without the necessary licenses.

 “Smart licenses will ensure that the Liquor Board has a lot of potential to raise untapped revenue in Nairobi, but it also has a huge responsibility of ensuring reduction of alcoholism amongst Nairobians. This system will give exact coordinates in terms of longitudes and latitudes of a liquor business and will be able to tell us if the business has complied or not,” Rabar said.

The Board Chair added that “each outlet will have a unique QR code, which will be scanned by our team.”

“This will be able to reveal if the business is in the correct location and has all the prerequisite documentation to operate the business it is licensed to do. Nobody will be able to claim that you are not compliant when you are online,” said Rabar.

This system, once registered, will be able to issue alerts on the expiration of licenses and assist with renewals. This new approach is about collaborating and not policing bar owners.

Every Inspection member will be issued an ID, which will also be scanned using a QR code. These IDs will be able to give information regarding an officer’s movements. And will also restrict them to operating within their assigned areas.

Meanwhile, Zipporah Mwangi, Chief Officer, Business and Hustler Opportunities said that the Sinai wellness rehabilitation facility has been identified as suitable for the establishment of the first county-owned rehabilitation centre for persons affected with alcohol and substance abuse; the first of its kind in Nairobi.

“According to Statistics released by NACADA in 2022 11.8% of Nairobians consume alcohol and other drugs majority of them overindulging and we all know what that means to the community, families to a workforce because people are not able to engage in productive economic activities so for us as liquor board we have a mandate to ensure that we establish a rehabilitation center,” said Ms Mwangi.

The rehabilitation centre will provide affordable and accessible treatment for victims, who on exit will be assisted to reintegrate back into the community by offering them job opportunities and also providing aftercare and follow-up counselling. This will be undertaken by the Nairobi county government.

“Through this project we are looking at ensuring that we effectively re-integrate recovered addicts back into the society and give after care that will ensure they do not relapse and can continue working and contributing to the economy of Nairobi. The Multi-Sectoral approach is, therefore, to ensure that we have all the sectors involved in the recovery process,” added Ms Mwangi.

Ms. Rhoda Otieno, Director of Liquor, echoed the Chief Officers’ sentiments.

“As we start 2023/2024 financial year the Liquor board will focus on increasing its support towards sporting activities, education and advocacy engagements  within  Nairobi  county wards in order to engage young men and women in various activities that will  keep them away from alcohol which may lead into addiction and drug abuse,” said Ms Otieno.

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