No doubt on the fact that Lagos State Government remains unflinching in their stance on the ban on Okada (commercial motorcycles). This ban on the use of one of the fastest means of transportation especially in Lagos traffic has been trailed with varying difficulties, however, with the “Okada ban” there are certain lessons that the Nigerian startup community, investors and policy experts, can take a cue from.
In 2015, as a result of the defect in Lagos’ transport laws, MAX launched to help reduce the menace of traffic congestion in the state, it was also followed by the introduction of Gokada, ORide, and 1st Ride. Since then much attention has been placed on just how long these ride-hailing companies would last, now with the “Okada ban” we have thousands of bikes left unused and investment worth millions of dollars at high risk of being lost.
This is bad news for the fintech sector, one major insight to get from this according to Dr. Jubril Adeojo, managing director of SMEFUNDS Capital, is that: tech companies should not wait for regulations before building innovative products and services, i.e., “innovate and let regulations play catch up.”
In the midst of the dilemma, ride-hailing companies are currently, there is an urgent need for collaboration in the tech community. If these ride-hailing companies do decide to tackle the government legally, then forming a united front while collaborating together might make them a much bigger threat than standing alone.
Segun Cole, a policy consultant for Lagos state government stated on a final note that: the tech community can do much better when they are united, cooperation between companies even with competing brands, gives them solid footing before government authorities in the state. With these in place, the catchphrase “united we stand, divided we fall” will be the fate of these companies.