I read this analysis about what the collapse of the crude oil might mean to Nigeria. And I must tell you; it is scary. Read it because to be forewarned is to be forearmed.
Quilox Club boss, Sina Peller may be stinkingly rich, but with his entertainment empire affected by the necessary lockdown of businesses, he shares the hard times millions of Nigerians are currently facing.
Reflecting on the hard month of April that was filled with lockdowns of to reduce coronavirus, he expressed the hope that May will not be like that he wrote:
The month of May is here. May it replace the negativity experienced in the previous months with positivity. This is wishing you all a prosperous new month with lots of achievement as we battle and conquer COVID-19 to a reasonable end. Remember to stay safe.. Happy New Month and Happy Workers’ Day!
To his prayer, we can only say, ‘Amen!’
With ‘hungervirus’ threatening to kill people like coronavirus, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has come out on video to reveal that he and Buhari are thinking of ways to help daily wage workers that are now forced to stay at home in states that have been locked down. Watch video below. (Sir, seriously consider helping people through BVN. Pay the money saved from subsidy removal into people’s accounts and share lots of impounded imported rice, e.t.c., to the hungry masses.)
While briefing journalists on his meeting with President Buhari, Prof. Osinbajo said (video loading…):
Many of our citizens are daily wage workers and the President has expressed concerns about this. We are now thinking of ways to provide succour for the period they are unable to work. pic.twitter.com/TEJeCCM728
— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) April 11, 2020
That succour needs to happen very fast. In Ogun State, people don’t sleep anymore. News reports say robbers now move in their hundreds with okada to rob and steal even food. Lockdown MUST be accompanied with adequate food supply.
Some Ogun State residents are complaining that after being robbed of their food and money, they have no more food to eat or money to buy more. And they cannot go out to work or do business because of the lockdown.
Federal Government, send down help fast!
I just saw this poster below about the lockdown versus the economy. It appears lockdowns save lives but affect livelihoods, while not observing lockdowns in pandemic situations does the opposite. I guess the solution is to find a balance somewhere in between.
For instance, if you lockdown, make sure the people have access to relief materials or airdrop cash into the thinnest accounts using their BVN.
Otherwise how will they pay their rent after locking down their business for so long?
— Kamo ❣ Owami (@Nthebe_Lebo) April 10, 2020
Bloomberg has reported that Nigeria’s economy has overtaken that of South Africa.
That’s good news from Nigeria’s perspective. But if you compare Nigeria’s current economy to that of Rwanda, you will find large sad gaps.
1. Insecurity Of Life And Property
Nigeria’s economy is plagued by insecurity. Violence has forced farmers out of their farms; has displaced many from their homes; has made people avoid important business trips that would have oiled the cogs of the economy; has made property rights a joke in many parts of the country.
Compare that to Kigali, capital of Rwanda, where women can walk safely on the streets even at night. Government needs to do more to make the country more secure. The buck stops clearly in front of Government.
2. Over-dependence on crude oil
This means that the next slump in the price of oil could send the economy crashing back down to the debts of recession. The Government needs to induce economic expansion through areas like export of beef and dairy products, cars, Aba-made apparels, solid minerals and other exportables. Otherwise, Nigeria’s economic fortunes will remain at the mercy of the price of one commodity.
Corruption is another bottleneck. Take the housing deficit in the country for instance: often when Government attempts to solve it by building cheap housing, the scheme is hijacked by rich politicians who buy up the cheap houses and then sell same to people at break neck prices. Their needs to be stricter enforcement of anti-corruption laws.
4. Not Enough Social Welfare Packages
The monies collected from successful anti-corruption efforts are not being used to stimulate the economy in the areas of social welfare. Unless that is done, the money held by the average Nigerian may remain just enough to eat the next meal, and not to build capital needed for opening and expanding business enterprises.
Nigeria, might be Africa’s biggest economy. But most Nigerians are not feeling the impact, and the economy remains terribly stunted.