Gokada: Nigeria’s On-Demand Okada Hailing Pioneer Shuts Down Temporarily

On-demand motorcycle hailing startup, Gokada has shut down its services temporarily in order to restrategize on some of its features and navigation.

According to the CEO, Fahim Saleh, the shutdown which will last between August 14th to 26th, 2019, will be used by the platform to undergo extensive maintenance as well as address other technical issues facing the company.

“Gokada is currently undergoing a scheduled relaunch of our service. We will be back online better than ever, August 26th! Sorry for the inconvenience,” a message on the App states.

This decision comes after Saleh encountered a technical malfunction on one of the rides. The CEO and Co-Founder had ordered a ride, hoping to beat traffic within the estimated time the application confirmed. The pilot was supposed to arrive in five minutes but due to a technical mishap and a non-functional GPS on the path of the driver, the driver couldn’t locate the CEO until about 15 minutes later.

“How could I be the CEO of Gokada, the company that pioneered motorcycle ride-hailing in Nigeria and be saying this? I was disappointed in Gokada and most of all, I was disappointed in myself” Saleh said.

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Unlike most CEO’s, Saleh has publicly criticized his company, recognizing the several faults that it (Gokada) might be facing and taking actual steps to improving their services. Saleh is convinced that a shutdown will get the company operating in a better capacity.

In the coming weeks, the brand is expected to be back with a brand new set of bikes, training of its pilots in the field of customer service, hygiene and navigation use. Road language and Bluetooth helmets will also be included in the Gokada2.0 initiative relaunch.

“We’re offering drivers more; maintaining their bikes for free, opening a drivers club, and expanding our health benefits. Big problems require big solutions. We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause you in the short term” Dignited reports.

Even though the company is positive about this decision, some users are worried that it will cause the startup to lose both customers and market shares in the coming weeks. With the advent of other players in the same sector like ORide, Max Okada, SafeBoda, users perceive that this is the wrong time to pause operations.

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Existing users will delve into other competitors and when the company resumes work, they might be a bit reluctant about continuing with the pioneering app. The coming weeks will see the hailing app improving in its services and restrategizing towards dominating the transport market again.

Story by Stephanie Osaji, Ventures Africa

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