At this stage corona virus or Covid 19 is not alien to any of us but in anyways a salient question is what is corona virus?!
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
The further stated that COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow) , also at this time like all viruses, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19.
Now as we all know this virus which according to some sources began in September 2019 but was officially reported in December 2019 the outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020 or a pandemic.
As it increased restrictions on movements from country to country was imposed. Schools were shut down, businesses were shutdown and almost a worldwide lockdown ensued which we are still on.
Now, since the advent of COVID-19 and its increasing new incidence and cases in Nigeria has called for drastic review and changes in the earlier revenue expectations and fiscal projections that were given at the beginning of the year and the first quarter, this involves the budget and infact the entirety of expenditure and gross income Nigeria would have expected to use and gain. As opposed to the various incidences and events that led to recession in 2016, the current state of the global economy poses more difficulties ahead as the oil price is currently below US$20 per barrel , with projections that it will dip further going by the price war among key players in the industry except when industries resume work. Unfortunately, Nigeria as in most times has grossly underachieved in setting aside sufficient buffers for rainy days such as it faces in the coming days , that is to say as usual Nigeria doesn’t have a backup plan to hook up to so the economy can at least stand. Well the government In addressing these daunting economic challenges, the current considerations to revise the budget downward is inevitable as this seem the only way to sustain the economy from a downward tilt to recession.
However, certain considerations that are expected in the review must not be left out.The assumptions and benchmarks must be based on realizable thresholds and estimates to ensure optimum budget performance, especially on the non-oil revenue components.
Furthermore, scholars and economists have advised that in cutting the expenditures, it must be done such that the already excluded group and vulnerable (unemployed and poor people) are not left to bear the brunt of the economic contraction , but as we all know this is but a hoax that has not being followed or replicated as all and sundry except the rich and privileged ones are already suffering and groaning under the brunt of economic downturn caused by the lockdown.
Now in actuality or let’s say on paper the economic and growth recovery program which our Government has designed in Nigeria is supposed to or has the aim of increasing social inclusion by creating jobs and providing support for the poorest and most vulnerable members of society through investments in social programs and providing social amenities, this is already as is glaring to all is already suffering setbacks. Besides, the downward review of the budget and contractions in public spending is seriously devastating on poverty and unemployment.
In finality in that the advise is that basically, the Nigerian government essentially must lead economic diversification drive. It is one practicable way to saddle through the current economic uncertainties and instabilities. What the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic should further offer the Nigerian economic managers and policymakers, is that the one-tracked, monolithic reliance on oil is failing. Diversification priorities to alternative sectors such as agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing and services sectors, should be further intensified.
Now like the economy of Nigeria the Political system of Nigeria is hugely affected by the Covid 19. It is worthy of note that Nigeria is speeding toward a political crisis as well as economic catastrophe in the face of the rapidly expanding COVID-19 pandemic. Now the combination of escalating economic disruption and the slow and uneven response to the COVID-19 outbreak is contributing to political crises in Nigeria. A practical example of brewing political crises is seen when opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) this month attacked Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari for neglecting to address the nation’s concerns about the pandemic, calling it an “absolute leadership failure.”
It is also worthy of note that the Nigerian will find it tempting to use COVID-19 to tilt the playing field in their favor in the sense that like we are already having conspiracy theories that involve money being embezzled on the grounds of fighting Covid 19.
Also this whole pandemic is causing a rift in the political polity of Nigeria in the sense that we now having series of contradictions, like for example the Governor of Kogi state and Cross River state who have firmly resolved not to allow any NCDC official into their states save for if they are quarantined for 14days before the can move around in the states because they believe that the high everyday increase of new corona virus cases are moving at such astronomical speed because it has been politicized and states are currently using the large numbers to get more money from the federal government who it is believed in turn is using it to gain money, relief of debts , aids etc from foreign states and international organizations. This is also brewing strong political crises in Nigeria as all parties involved are at loggerheads
So in a nutshell Covid 19 seriously affecting Nigeria’s political and economic hemisphere and all we can do and hope for is for the end of the pandemic to kickstart all economic activities at least from the point it was halted on if we can or from the scratch.
This is my humble logo marquee a logo marquee I made without any iota of sentimentality!!
⁃ Anyebe David
Anyebe David is a premium graduate of Kogi state university who is resilient in giving his all in the overall growth and development of the legal profession through his writings