COVID 19 epidemic which has since assumed a Pandemic proportion has no doubt, hit hard on the World’s Health System, with its attendant economic consequences.
While it baffles scientists and health practitioners at the proportion in which the virus has taken its toll on the health system of developed countries. It has certainly raised doubts as to how the health system of developing countries can survive the COVID 19 pandemic. Since the arrival of the Italian index case in Nigeria weeks back, the spread has assumed an alarming proportion which has therefore led to lockdown in some parts of the country.
While the lockdown is a precautionary step to curb the virus’s person to person transmission, it is important to state unequivocally that the lockdown may have some seeming unbearable economic consequences especially in Lagos being Nigeria’s commercial capital, Ogun, being the Industrial and manufacturing hub in Nigeria and Abuja, the political capital of Nigeria.
THE ECONOMIC IMPACT AND CONSEQUENCE OF THE 14 DAY LOCKDOWN MAY BE CONSIDERED AS FOLLOWS:
1. MACRO LEVEL OF THE ECONOMY: The lockdown may slow down and affect the entire National Economy which may also affect payment of salaries and delivering of basic welfare and other economic necessities to the populace. This, if continues may be a precursor to an economic recession.
2. Micro level: The lockdown may affect or impact negatively on individual’s spendings and economic wellbeing, considering the fact that most individuals in the country live on subsistence basis and irk out living through the informal sector and survives on a day to day earnings.
3. Increase in Unemployment Level: Employers of labour, especially private sectors that depend and thrive on incomes from increased economic activities may have to layoff workers as a result of the inability to pay workers.
4. Depletion of Government Revenue: The government may experience Revenue inadequacies and difficulties as Companies may not be able to meet their tax obligations and could make the Government experience cash crunch and may not on their part able to pay workers’ salaries too.
5. Increases Social Vices: Idleness on the part of the youths may lead to vices such as crimes and criminality.
6. Slows down the level of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product: Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product GDP, maybe at it’s the lowest level in a decade, because of low economic activities
7. Increases the Countries Misery Index: The combination of all negative indices such as poverty, unemployment, criminality and other negative indices may increase.
Government should be prepared to spend more and grant waivers and incentives and welfare packages to avert the danger of a recession. The Government should be ready to grant tax reliefs, grant free electricity and grant bailouts for at least 3 months to stabilize the productive sectors and generality of the populace in order to avert the economic severalty of the COVID 19.