SoftBank-Backed OPay suspends subsidiaries over difficult business environment

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Softbank-backed OPay, NIgerian based e-commerce and payments company, has suspended some of its operations in Nigeria in the face of a difficult business environment following a government ban and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The affected operations include its ride-hailing services ORide and OCar as well as the logistics service, OExpress, the company that has shareholders including Softbank Group Corp. and China’s Meituan Dianping said Thursday in a statement on Twitter.

The stoppage of the services will have a “minimal impact” since they weren’t a major part of the Nigerian business, it said. “During the pandemic, we have seen continued demand for our offline mobile money agency, and online digital payment, which remain core of our business.”

The ride-hailing and logistics company suffered a set back when Lagos, the commercial hub in Africa’s largest economy, placed a ban on motorbike passenger service in January, ”Osagie Alonge, director of marketing said.

“The bulk of the drivers were already hit by the Lagos ban months ago,” Alonge said.

The mobile-payments company started its ORide service in Lagos in June 2019, before raising $120 million later in the year to expand its various online services in Ghana, South Africa and Kenya.

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