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One year on, Gokada raises $5.3 million in first ever Series A funding

On-demand motorbike hailing service, Gokada, has raised a $5.3 million Series A capital funding to expand its operations and increase daily rides by 1000%.

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Barely one year and some months after bike hailing startup, GoKada, took Nigeria by storm, the company is already on its way to expansion with a $5.3 million Series A capital raise.

Rise Capital, a global investment firm that focuses on making expansion-stage investments in Internet businesses in Emerging Markets, led the Series A investment in conjunction with  Adventure CapitalIC Global Partners, and Illinois-based First MidWest Group.

Meanwhile, as part of the capital raise agreement, Nigerian entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Jobberman, Ayodeji Adewunmi will be joining Gokada as a Co-CEO.

How the funding will be deployed: Gokada plans to use the fund to increase its fleet and ride volume, and at the same time, develop a network that offers goods and services to its drivers.

The fund is also aimed at increasing daily rides by 1000 percent, and acquisition of local talents. According to Gokada‘s Co-Founder, Fahim Saleh:

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“We’re going to start a Gokada club in each of the cities with a restaurant where drivers can relax, and we’ll experiment with a Gokada Shop, where drivers can get things they need on a regular basis, such as plantains, yams, and rice.”

Gokada’s success story: Following its establishment early last year, Gokada has already acquired approximately 1,000 motorcycles that are manned by trained, insured and verified drivers, kitted out with helmets which are DOT (US Department of Transportation) approved and certified.

The company has also completed nearly one million rides since inception, getting riders to their destination 50 percent quicker than travel by car.

With combined app downloads of close to 200,000, Gokada currently ranks as the most popular motorcycle-hailing app in Nigeria and a top 100 app, overall.

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About Gokada: Gokada is an on-demand motorbike hailing service headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. Customers can order a motorbike ride through the company’s website, or by using the company’s geo-location -based smartphone Gokada mobile app.

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It was founded in 2018 by Nigerian entrepreneurs. The service was launched originally and started operations in Yaba Axis of Lagos state and has since extended their operations to Victoria Island – Lekki Axis Lagos, Nigeria.

The company uses bikes with engine capacities of 200 cc and above meeting government standards for load-bearing on major Lagos roads.

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: WHO warns the world faces catastrophic moral failure due to vaccine nationalism

The WHO has said that the prospects of equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines were at serious risk.

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Dr Tedros Adhanom, Head of the World health organization (WHO), COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure due to the fear of Covid-19 vaccine nationalism by the wealthy countries, while the poor countries are left behind.

This is as the UN health agency revealed that the prospects of equitable distribution of the vaccines were at serious risk just as its COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme plans to start distributing inoculations in February.

According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure was made by the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyrsus, at the opening of the body’s Annual Executive Board virtual meeting.

He pointed out that 44 bilateral deals were signed last year and at least 12 have already been signed this year.

What the WHO Director-General is saying

Tedros warned against vaccine nationalism to avoid making the same mistake during the HIN1 and HIV pandemic.

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The WHO boss in his statement said,

  • This could delay COVAX deliveries and create exactly the scenario COVAX was designed to avoid with hoarding, a chaotic market, an uncoordinated response and continued social and economic disruption. Such a ‘me-first approach’ left the world’s poorest and most vulnerable at risk.
  • “Ultimately, these actions will only prolong the pandemic, countries should avoid making the same mistakes made during the H1N1 and HIV pandemics.’

He expressed his reservations over the ‘me-first’ attitude of the rich countries and the vaccine manufacturers who prioritize going for regulatory approval in wealthy countries rather than submitting their data to WHO for approval of the vaccines for use globally.

The global scramble for shots has intensified, as more infectious virus variants circulate.

Tedros said more than 39 million vaccine doses had been administered in 49 higher-income countries, whereas just 25 doses had been given in one poor country.

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Observers say this board meeting, which lasts until next Tuesday, is one of the most important in the U.N. health agency’s more than 70-year history, and could shape its role in global health long after the pandemic ends.

What you should know

  • The WHO and health experts had severally warned against nationalism as a serious threat to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
  • They had called for an equitable distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine amongst all countries globally, as the wealthy nations will still be at risk of the pandemic if the poor countries are still battling with the disease.

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Energy

LPG: Nigerians paid more to refill 12.5kg gas cylinders in December

Nigerians paid more money to refill their 12.5Kg gas cylinder in December than they did in November 2020.

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Prices of Kerosene, Cooking Gas and Diesel

The average price for refilling 12.5kg cylinder of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) increased by 1.75% in December compared to the month of November, according to the NBS report for December 2020.

The average cost of refilling the 12.5kg gas cylinder moved from N4,082.97 in November to N4,154.28 in December 2020.

According to the NBS report, the average price for refilling a 5kg cylinder of cooking gas increased by 0.12% month-on-month to N1,949.75 in December 2020 from N1,947.47 in November 2020.

Key highlights

  • Bauchi (N2,489.12), Borno (N2,396.69) and Adamawa (N2,392.88) recorded the highest average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder for Liquefied Petroleum Gas in the month of December 2020.
  • Enugu (N1,563.75), Imo (N1,678.89) and Oyo (N1,691.67) recorded the lowest average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder for Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
  • Delta (N4,838.46), Cross River/Sokoto (N4,800.00) and Akwa Ibom (N4,614.49) recorded the highest average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder for Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
  • While, Kaduna (N3,191.67), Zamfara (N3,462.50) and Niger (N3,500.00) recorded the lowest average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder for Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

LPG is fast becoming an alternative to firewood and kerosene as a means of cooking for most homes especially in urban areas in Nigeria. LPG is cleaner and more efficient than kerosene in cooking.

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LPG should be made much more available and affordable to reduce the cost of living for most Nigerians.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19: FG to launch Rapid Response Register for urban poor

The FG has moved to inaugurate an emergency intervention database for the poor residing in urban centres and affected by the pandemic.

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Nigeria blows past 40,000 COVID-19 cases

The Federal Government has announced that it would inaugurate a COVID-19 Rapid Response Register (RRR), which would be a health emergency response for the poor living in urban centers that have been affected by the pandemic.

This was disclosed by Mr. Joe Abuku, Communications Manager, National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), on Sunday in Abuja.

Mr. Abuku said the register would identify Nigerians that have been made poorer due to the pandemic, targeting mainly Traders and SME Owners.

He added that the scheme was designed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, through NASSCO, in partnership with the World Bank, and will be inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

What Joe Abuku is saying

  • “This register is being built by NASSCO as an expansion of the existing National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP). It targets small business owners, street vendors, petty traders, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and service providers.
  • “Others are low wage employed individuals and families, including daily wage-based laborers, urban poor and destitute (persons with disabilities), and vulnerable families in slum areas, affected by the pandemic.
  • “The category of Nigerians who will be in this register is typically the urban/semi-urban poor engaged in the informal sectors of the economy, who lost their source of livelihood due to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and jobs. The Federal Government plans to extend cash transfers to households in this register for a period of 12 months.”

He also stated that NASSCO would use geographical satellite sensing to locale the wards where the urban poor live, as the targeting of the poor would be done via cell phone Short Messaging Service (SMS) technology that allows residents of targeted communities register to be assisted by following simple steps using USSD codes.

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The SMS approach would be integrated through data gathered by the National Living Standard Survey Assessments and would be complemented by existing databases of Non-Governmental Organisations and local self-help-support groups.

  • “Mobile phone numbers of those deemed eligible for assistance will be linked to digitized bank accounts to receive cash support, under an expanded cash transfer program of the Federal Government. These cash payments are designed to boost consumption for these households, build their resilience, and in some cases, inject fresh capital into small businesses.”

What you should know

  • Nairametrics reported last year that the World Bank said the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic could make an additional 5 million Nigerians poor.
  • The Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report 2020 by the World Bank Group indicate that between 88 million and 115 million people could fall back into extreme poverty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This is in addition to an increase between 23 million and 35 million in 2021, potentially bringing the total number of new people living in extreme poverty to between 110 million and 150 million.

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