Barely a month after its expansion to Kano, OPay is facing its biggest challenge yet. The Opera-founded startup’s Kano branch has been closed down during a raid by the State police command.
According to the spokesman of the Police Command, DSP Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, the startup has been non-compliant with the state government’s rules and regulations set for it to operate within the state. He also disclosed that the order of closure was received from the Kano state government, whose rules OPay had flouted.
Armed police officers are said to have stormed the state office located at Lodge road in Kano on Thursday morning. They ordered all the startup’s staff and commercial tricycle operators (Adaidaita Sahu) to leave the premises or be faced with an arrest.
This event is said to have happened just as the commercial operators were settling their balance for the previous day’s work.
Since its launch earlier this year, the startup has been on a mega expansion drive with its payment, OBus, ORide and OTrike services. And now, the startup is available in 6 states including recent addition, Kano.
So far, asides from the little trouble it had with road transport union workers in Lagos demanding payments for tickets from its riders, it hasn’t had any run-ins with regulatory agencies/government in the states it operates. So this is quite a surprise for the new startup.
Earlier in March, Gokada and Max.ng also had issues with the
Lagos State Task Force when they impounded 22 bikes owned and operated by Gokada and Max.NG.
Nairametrics speculates that the shutdown is a result non-compliance with tax payments. And as at press time both Opay and the State government are yet to announce the exact reasons why the company’s office was shut down.
Our efforts to also get across to Opay for comments also proved abortive.
However, it is important that the startup ensures due process in their pursuance of licensing or regulatory agreement. In the absence of this, they may continue to run into huge problems with the state authorities.
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