The novel Coronavirus, nicknamed Covid-19 hit the world unprepared, but even if the world was prepared China’s closely guarded state policies of gag and restrictions will never have allowed the world to have adequate information, the Doctor who first noticed the Coronavirus infection in Wuhan was forced to sign an undertaking never to speak publicly about it that is how far China could go to police the state.
How then would the world have known more with a strictly guarded society? Moreover Dr. Li Wenliang also died of the Coronavirus infection.
The first case of COVID-19 in Nigeria was reported late February 2020, it was reported to have been carried by an Italian, by the time I write this piece in April, there are 28 deaths, 873 infection with 197 discharged from Hospital, these statistics though insignificant compared to the infection rates in China, Italy, Germany, Spain and the USA, it’s economic implication is massive.
I am a firm believer in future good, I am very positive we will pull through sooner than later, this is why I am dedicating this epistle to Post-Covid-19-Nigeria
By the time we are out of the pandemic, Oil prices have crashed from $55 a barrel in February to $32 in March and down to $19 in April 2020 and it’s still uncertain.
A crash of 65% in less than 60 days. The implications is that Nigeria with a monoproduct economy will be worst hit, with a budget of N10.59trn for 2020, at an oil revenue projection of $57 per barrel.
For an economy that relies on over 80% on oil sales, scraping 65% of that 80% oil revenue will only mean one thing, flinging out the budget and restart on a fresh note.
Even if restarting, it must be a shoe string budget that will only cater for neccessities which should be mostly recurrent, capital projects can’t make it reasonably for this year anymore, frivolities like National Assembly renovation should be the first to be thrown out. No time!
With a massive infrastructural decay across the country, insurgency and social insecurity, the options are devilish but leaders must be ready to be leaders who must first show sacrifice before asking ordinary citizens to follow suit, National Assembly members, all appointed and elected officials in the States and Federal Government levels must accept 50% pay cuts.
The fight against insurgency must not suffer, low level civil servants from levels 1 to 7 must also not be allowed to suffer or crime will go further up.
Funding of the fight against COVID-19 must be clear cut, strategic and well too!
On the home front, the little that is generated within the remaining part of the year should be aimed at boosting Agriculture, human capacity development and prevetion of social insecurity.
Our educational, health and general wellbeing should now be the focus before any other thing.
Only the living has hopes! May we outlive this Corona pandemic.
Happy Ramadan to all Muslims around the world.