#LagosOkadaBan: Tech Start-up Gokada Sacks 7000 Workers

February 7, 2020
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Nothing less than 70% of Gokada riders have been laid off following the Okada ban policy by the Lagos State government.

The lay off, which affected about 7,000 bike riders among the 10,000 total Gokada riders has been confirmed in a statement from the Gokada team on Tuesday, February 4.

Gokada, which is one of the leading bike-hailing companies in Lagos, in its reaction to the okada ban development by the Lagos State Government, revealed that its company has shifted focus off the bike-hailing business as it is looking into delivery services as alternative.

“We are pivoting towards deliveries while this transport ban gets sorted,” the CEO of Gokada, Fahim Saleh, disclosed.

Recall that Ripples Nigeria had earlier hinted about this possible outcome in a review, following the ban announcement in January.

Even more earlier, Ripples Nigeria had published a review 7 months ago where bike-hailing business had been written off as unsustainable with emphasis as to why the business is “dead on arrival”, according to the August 2019 review.

While an outright ban on the business, however, was not called for in the analysis, emphasis was made on the need for the government to solve its transportation challenge.

It’s rather unfortunate that due solution was not in place before the government took actions to eliminate this “necessary evil”.

This reality is, therefore, scary and still unfathomable, especially to investors and the percentage of the youthful population that are losing their jobs. With Gokada alone, 7,000 of 10,000 of its riders are plunged into the labour market without adequate crisis management logistics in place.

The days ahead will tell the fate of these rendered jobless riders by the government, and the fate of thousands of their other colleagues working for other bike-hailing companies as Oride and MaxNG.

We might again ask: is the ban an ideal solution? How would Seyi Makinde of Oyo State have handled similar process?

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