Just days after the Lagos State Government basically said “thanks, but no thanks” to the same investors it had invited to the taxi motorbike sector, it seems the shakeup is already yielding the feared negative effects.
Besides the productivity-stalling traffic congestion that has already gripped parts of the state, Gokada, one of the bike-hailing startups, which are arguably the worse-hit by the Okada/Keke ban, has been forced to lay off most of its employees.
The layoff is believed to have happened last Wednesday, just two days after the Lagos State Government announced the decision to stop Okada/Keke from plying major routes in the state, and most of Gokada’s staff including its software and marketing teams, as well as riders, are believed to have been let go.
Gokada’s CEO, Fahim Saleh, who had earlier told WeeTracker, that the startup will “need to transition to being the best logistics provider” was contacted for confirmation of the layoff.
Saleh, who has overseen the startup’s meteoric growth since it launched in Nigeria in 2017, has, as a matter of fact, confirmed to WeeTracker that the startup laid off “a good number of staff” because at this point, “no revenue is coming in.”
With the government’s “Okada ban” directive pretty much eliminating most of the market for bike-hailing startups that have invested so heavily in Lagos, a mass layoff was always on the cards. And it appears this is the first of what is sure to become a wave of job losses.
This post has been updated to reflect that Gokada didn’t lay off “all” staff as was reported in the earlier publication, but most of its staff.
This is a developing story. More to follow shortly.