Nigeria like other economies around the world is fighting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nigeria was already tackling its own fiscal challenges before the arrival of the dreaded pandemic which has further rained more difficulties on citizens of Nigeria and strained the challenges both economically and on the health sector.
Nigeria, after slipping into its first recession in 25 years in 2016, growth in Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) returned but remained below population expansion, meaning that Africa’s most populous nation became poorer per capita between 2017-2019. The economy had begun to show promising signs of recovery but the emergence of the pandemic completely slowed this progress.
“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 also said revenue flow from oil declined 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 of the pandemic has been felt across all sectors. Because of the country-wide lockdown, a huge blow was dealt on the economic activity in sectors like retail and real estate, and how most businesses were forced to adjust with some even laying off staff.
The Private sector investment during this period is not only vital for economic recovery but there could also be increasing opportunities for investors, with adequate government reforms to aid businesses and foreign direct investment in Nigeria.
Despite the challenges ahead, we must remain optimistic because what this crisis has done is accelerate decisions on a number of structural issues that have impeded Nigeria over the last few years. The government is starting to make decisions that have the potential to lead to much more investment and much more rapid, inclusive, economic growth in Nigeria.
There’s also an increasing focus on stimulating local business. Beyond the crisis there will be increased awareness of sectors like agriculture and increasing conversations around food security; and also driving credit to the healthcare sector to reduce medical tourism. These areas could lead Nigeria’s economic recovery.”
Therefore citizens must intensify their efforts in Working Together Against Corona as such will create a positive impact and speed up recovery even from the economic hardship being experienced. As the saying goes “Health is wealth” will become a reality.