OPay Has Stopped Its Bus-Hailing Service In Lagos & It May Have Something To Do With “Area Boys”

By  |  November 14, 2019

Fresh reports have it that OBus — the public bus-hailing service of OPera-backed company, OPay — has suspended operations. And it may have something to with the Area Boys in Lagos, also known as Agberos.

OPay has taken the Nigerian market by storm since its arrival, launching several verticals such as ORide, OBus, OTrike, OFood, OWealth, and many others, within a few weeks of each other.

But it appears its bus-hailing service, OBus, which kicked off beta operations in Lagos barely three months ago, is no more.

A source familiar with the company told Techpoint that the failure may have been caused by an “unsustainable business model“, plus the effects of having to tango with officials of the  National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Lagos Chapter, and Area Boys, every now and then.

There have been cases of touts stifling OBus operations by preventing the vehicles from making stops and picking up passengers at bus terminals deemed to be the turf of those touts.

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A few days after OPay launched OBus, it was announced that there would be an expansion of fleet via third-party bus owners.

For its beta-testing phase, OBus set out to ply only the Ikeja-CMS route. But through the third-party bus owners, a few other routes were accommodated though it’s not clear if the third-party bus operations were also app-based.

Currently, the OBus option on OPay’s mobile app is inactive and no longer displays active routes, QR-code, or OBus wallet balance.

According to Techpoint’s source, OBus may have also incurred huge operating costs that are unsustainable in the process of bus procurement, maintenance, and staff recruitment. These could have all added up to discourage further continuation of OBus operations.

However, OPay’s ride-hailing and tricycle-hailing services are still operational in Lagos and other Nigerian cities including Ibadan, Akure, Aba, and Kano.

As at press time, no word has been heard from OPay with regards to the matter.

Featured Image Courtesy: Techeconomy.ng

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