By Ayodele Oluwafemi
Strong reactions have continued to trail the decision of African fintech startup, OPay to temporarily shut down its logistics and ride hailing services, due to the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chinese-owned e-commerce and payment platforms, on Thursday, in a statement, said it would be suspending its ORide, OCar, OExpress services.
Citing reasons for the decision, the company said, it was “largely due to the harsh business conditions which have affected many Nigerian companies, including ours, during this COVlD-19 pandemic, the lockdown, and government ban.”
Part of the statement reads, “We can confirm that some of our business units including the ride-hailing services, ORide, OCar as well as our logistics service OExpress will be put on pause. This is largely due to the harsh business conditions which have affected many Nigerian companies, including ours, during this COVlD-19 pandemic, the lockdown, and government ban.
“Globally, ride-sharing businesses have been heavily impacted by the pandemic.
“But several months ago, foreseeing this issue, OPay had already taken preemptive steps to restructure our business focus away from rides. It is worthy to note that this final restructuring has minimal impact on OPay as a whole business.
“It is important to clarify that ride-sharing had always been only one part, and not a major part of OPay’s diversified business in Nigeria. In fact, OPay had been investing more and seeing accelerated growth in its commitment to Nigeria’s financial and technology inclusion.”
The company was also badly affected by the decision of the Lagos State Government to ban motorcycles in most parts of the state, a decision that dealt a big blow on the company, ORide business in the industrial city of Lagos.
The development has been greeted with strong reactions on the microblogging platform, Twitter.
Some Twitter users argued that the Nigerian Government do not create the enabling environment for startups to thrive.
GWG gathered the following tweets: