It is generally accepted that COVID-19 crippled the world economy in 2020. The pandemic strangled activities on every part of the earth like a fierce monster.
The President Muhammadu Buhari led government reacted to the coronavirus same way other world leaders did due to the fact that this is a new war the world didn’t know how to fight. During the first wave of the virus it infected 75,729,627 people worldwide and killed 1,676,086 people.
In Nigeria, it has so far infected 76207 people and killed 1201 people. The last few days has seen a rise in numbers of people testing positive to COVID-19. NCDC announced that 1000 people tested positive yesterday, 17, 12, 2020! This must have alarmed the Presidential Task Force led by Boss Mustapha but I want them to know that another lockdown is not an option. Below are the three points to consider.
1- Economic Impact :
The Nigerian economy suffered a heavy blow from the Coronavirus. The Nigerian economy is now in another recession majorly due to the effects of the lockdown.
“Nigeria is still dependent on oil, so the current crash in oil prices is adding to the COVID-19 lockdown effect where people stop spending – one person’s spending is another person’s income,” Dr Andrew S. Nevin explains. “The Nigerian government is projecting revenue flow from oil to decline from 5.5 trillion Naira in 2020 to 1.1 trillion Naira, so we have a sudden fiscal crisis in Nigeria presenting some pretty immense economic challenges.”
The impact will be felt across all sectors. “Because of the country-wide lockdown, there are concerns around overall economic activity in sectors like retail and real estate, and how banks adjust to that,” Muyiwa Oni told CDC Investment Works.
On individual level, many Nigerians have lost their jobs, many companies have also folded! It’s not every household in Nigeria that lost a soul to COVID-19 but every household and company in Nigeria are still suffering from the economic impact of the lockdown.
This shows that Nigeria suffered more from the hardship birthed by the lockdown than the virus itself.
Unfortunately, most Nigerian families depend on daily income to survive; another lockdown of economic activities will unleash more hardship on this class of poor Nigerians.
2- Lack Of Palliatives From Government
Nigerians read and watched news of how other western nations provided for their citizens and companies badly hit by the lockdown. They will not likely obey any new lockdown regulations from the government because during the last one, they were literally left to die of hunger.
Then during the End SARS protest against Police brutality, warehouses filled with palliatives that were meant to have been distributed to them during the lockdown were discovered. How do you expect them to trust the government?
3- Backlash From The Christian Community
I got a message from Nigerian Center for Diseases Control, NCDC. The message reads: “We may want to be with family and friends this festive season but #COVID-19 spreads when people move around. Please take responsibility by avoiding all travel”.
Now this message clearly shows that NCDC believes that Christmas as celebrated by Nigerians will create avenues for the virus to spread.
Unfortunately many Christians don’t believe the virus can infect them. We have heard many leading Clergymen like Pastor Chris Oyakhilome raise a lot of conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and 5 G. How do you think his followers feel about the virus?
Bishop David Oyedepo has also condemned government’s approach of the lockdown as it affects the church. Oyedepo insinuated that some people are trying to use the lockdown to trample on the church.
Any form of lockdown in December 2020 will be greeted with heavy backlash from the Nigerian Christian community. They will believe a Muslim President doesn’t want Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Remember that the recently celebrated Islamic festivity in Nigeria was not hindered in any way by government.
Paschal Ogechi Chikero is an Author and Media Consultant. He is the Executive Editor of NaijaNewsNg.Com . He wrote a biography on Festus Keyamo (Lion In Isolation) and three other books. He is also a Tv content creator, he scripted Arise Africa and Angels Tv Reality Show.