Last week, the Lagos state government put its foot in its mouth with its announcement that it would be banning the use of commercial motorcycles popularly known as okada as a mode of transportation. The fallout of this has witnessed over-reliance on an inadequate system of road infrastructure and exacerbated the city’s traffic issues. It has also led to potential capital flight as ride-hailing companies which sought to add a layer of formality to the sector have been effectively neutered by the government’s at its whim style of regulation.
Gokada, founded by Fahim Saleh was one of the companies which sought to play its part in the revolution but has effectively been rendered useless has played its part in leading and influencing the dissent towards the government. Its CEO released a hilariously emotional video highlighting the company’s strengths and the data underlying those strengths. News also came that it laid off 80% of its staff in wake of the ban. Now, it has announced its bid to add another layer of innovation to soften the blow of the ban it’ll be pivoting to deliveries (logistics) and boat services.
Speaking to Tech Cabal, he sad “We were always going to do deliveries and had started to develop the tech for it, but this ban accelerated the process.” On the boat pivot, he said “In between government approval and getting investors to back us for scale, there is still a lot of work that has to be done in this regard. I want to get hundreds of these boats in the water.” Gokada had previously trialed a boat service. Industry insiders suggest Gokada’s innovation is ultimately doomed and will only serve to prolong its demise.
Picture Credit: The Nerve Africa