As of today, the number of people infected by the Coronavirus is quite astronomical. The virus which was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) via an official press release on March 11, 2020. such as lockdowns of Cities and States and travel restrictions globally of which Nigeria is inclusive.
In a bid to curb this raging disease eating into the heart of the global economy, the lockdown directives have seen the closure of many businesses, especially those that cannot be performed remotely. Only businesses proferring essential services—the supply of food, medical supplies, etc have been exempted from the lockdown directives, hence the nation’s economy is taking a nosedive.
A street in Lagos, Nigeria
Commencing with a partial lockdown in the commercial hub of the country, Lagos State and gradually inching towards a total lockdown in the state and its surroundings as an attempt to mitigate the spread of the novel virus, we see a reflection of a dwindling economy while the economic nerve centre of the nation takes more drastic measures to ensure a cap is put on the spread of the virus.
A focal lens is placed on Lagos State, noting the fact that a major percentage of Nigerian businesses and even multinationals find their headquarters in the state. A limit to their operations would greatly have a ripple effect on their branches spread across the nation.
Some of the major industries that would and have been affected by the global pandemic include:
Oil and Gas Industry:
This sector, a major source of revenue for the Nigerian economy has received major damage from the pandemic. Since the lockdown and travel restrictions enacted globally, we have seen a major decline in the demand for crude oil and resulting crash in global oil prices. Records of a global decline of about 21%, a 21 year all-time low for the industry. Even with the intervention of OPEC and top oil-producing economies, the industry has not yet seen a recovery in sight.
Aviation and Tourism:
With the steady climb in infection cases and the extended lockdown in cities across Nigeria, the extended non-use of the aviation industry has led to a huge decline in travel. Most local and foreign airlines have suspended operations with all airports on shutdown except on order from the Federal Government for the transportation of essential services. A report from Bloomberg shows a gross loss of about $314 billion in ticket sales globally.
Shoppers crowd a market in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos
This has also taken a rather dire hit from the pandemic as we witness the shutdown of major production hubs around the world owing majorly to the social distancing regulatory measure, reduced access to raw materials and commodities due to supply chain challenges.
Nigeria owing one of its major sources of income and essential commodities to International trade is also on the receiving end of this major blow to this industry.
We are not oblivious to the fact that the ensuing complications of the pandemic would be dire especially to the common Nigerian. Already there are reports of civic unrest in cities across the country.
We are hopeful that the pandemic is curtailed as soon as possible and also that strategies for the post-pandemic era are already thought of and implementation will not be far fetched, for the sake of the common Nigerian and the nation as a whole.