Currently, Coronavirus has locked down much of Nigeria’s economy. This has sent many into the harshest economic crises they have ever seen.
Many businesses have been closed down for months. As a result, both employers and employees have been thrown into hardship. Private school owners and teachers for instance, have never had it so rough.
The news is filled with stories of workers being sacked from big companies. Of course, countless small companies have also closed down indefinitely for months-workers and owners are now without income.
The Federal Government needs to deep its hands into its coffers and pay business owners and workers. N-Power beneficiaries must not be left out, contract or no contract.
This is what governments around the world have done. And it has reduced the hardship citizens of such countries have faced in this period.
The Federal Government claims to have given palliatives to a number of Nigerians. But given the hardship in the land, such payments are clearly not enough. More money needs to be given to businesses and workers.
Many businesses would be in better economic shape if they had been given stimulus packages in the last few months. The truth is that the private sector currently needs government support.
Many businesses that closed down at the height of the lockdown would have reopened. But they lack money to fund daily activities until the economy picks up fully on its own.
The more some of such businesses stay closed, the higher the likelihood that they may never reopen. The multiplier effect of such negative possibility is scary.
Truthfully, many businesses are to blame for not having capital to restart. Many businesses spent money recklessly during the fat years. Many didn’t understand the concept of savings. But Government should not throw the baby away with the bathwater.
Hopefully, many businesses have learnt the importance of savings and would do much never to be in the kind of cashless situation ever again.
Government shouldn’t continue ignoring the need to send adequate stimulus and bailout money to companies-and palliatives to citizens. Where there is no BVN available, thumb printing before handover of relief materials could suffice.
As soon as the Nigerian economy stabilises Government should fund public advocacy programs urging Nigerian businesses to establish rainy-day funds.