Gokada, Nigeria’s On-demand Bike-Hailing platform is Shutting down temporarily

According to Fahim Saleh, CEO Gokada, as from August 14, 2019, Gokada will be unavailable. The app will be down, and the pilots will be off the road. Although the shut down will only be for two weeks. This is to sort out some of the operational issues that the CEO observed on a recent Gokada trip which he explained in a medium post.

He said, “So what’s going on? Well, a little over a week ago I had taken a Gokada hoping to avoid traffic to get to the mainland bridge from VI. From there I planned to take a car. I opened the Gokada app, requested, got a pilot, and waited patiently for him to arrive. I called to confirm my location which the pilot said he knew. 5 minutes pass by. and the pilot had not moved. Another 5 minutes pass and the pilot was going in the wrong direction. After 15 minutes and three phone calls, the pilot finally arrived at which point I’m thinking it might have been faster to take a car all the way through. Upon questioning the pilot, I learned that he didn’t use GPS on his phone because the earplugs he had were broken. Irritated, I motioned him to get started with the ride as I was in a hurry. It should be pretty obvious how to get to the mainland bridge from VI, so I didn’t concern myself with providing him directions, but I knew from Google Maps using the best route, it should only take 10–15 minutes. After about 15 minutes, we were still on the road. I hastily took out my phone and did a quick input of the directions to the bridge and realized we were still 15 minutes away. This pilot had taken a long route to get to the bridge, one that would have been completely avoided had he used the map. I motioned that I would direct him based on the Google Maps navigation. Unfortunately, just as we were about to reach the bridge I directed the pilot to a wrong turn which would have required us to turn all the way around. At this point, it was obvious that a car would have been much faster even with all the traffic. 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 but most of all, I was disappointed in myself. I told the pilot to pull over to the side of the road, I would hop over the median and wait for an Uber. “This is what it has come to,” I thought. I made a decision right then that things needed to change.

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It’s not easy criticizing your own company. But either I could ignore these issues and move along happily like everything was fine. Or I could realize that this kind of thing is happening to our customers thousands of times over. I am not ok with that.

Gokada was started to change the perception of what the bike taxi could be in terms of safety, convenience, and transparency. In many ways, we’ve succeeded but we have also failed. We can only win by doing right to our customers and our pilots. That is why today I am excited to announce our Gokada 2.0 initiative.

What can you expect?

Brand new bikes, Much better quality and sexy as hell.

All drivers retrained

We’re closing shop to retrain our drivers in customer service, hygiene, driving, and navigation use.

Higher safety measures

Maximum speeds, adhering to all traffic laws, new Bluetooth helmets.

Happier drivers

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’re sorry for the inconvenience this may cause you in the short term. But in the long run, we firmly believe that when you want to get somewhere fast, safe, and hassle-free — there won’t be any other app you’d want to open other than Gokada.

Stay safe. Stay green.”

I think the management of Gokada have realized that to be able to compete favorably in the market, it must provide a top-notch service to customers.

we wait to see if they are able to fulfill their promise.