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How The Coronavirus Could Change Nigeria Forever

How The Coronavirus Could Change Nigeria Forever 607c30fb3349d71903f8b2c7aec5a699 quality uhq format webp resize 720

If you think the present Coronavirus pandemic will end the world like our elderly family members are trying to make us believe on WhatsApp, then you probably lack a sense of history about infectious diseases which have ravaged the globe over time. Worst infections diseases like the Avian flu, Swine Flu, Spanish Flu and the worst of all, Black Disease have killed millions of people.

Coronavirus will come and go but the calamitous experience will be an eye-opener for Nigerian leaders who have contributed immensely and painstakingly to the downward slope the country has been going over decades. Despite grappling with a paltry but potentially dangerous 44 cases as at the 24th of March, 2020, Nigeria has been exposed in all facets of life, be it politics, business, health, quality of leadership and followership amongst others.

The following weaknesses exposed by the novel disease from Wuhan, China will need to be addressed in order to chart a new course for Nigeria after the virus is contained:

(1) Political leadership:

The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has been accused of being too slow in taking decisions. In 2015, Buhari almost took forever to appoint his cabinet members and the national budget also dragged. Its failure to issue prompt travel restrictions against Coronavirus-infested countries and also ensure a mandatory quarantine of returnees exposed the country to the threat of the disease outbreak. History will also have that on record and in future, the electorate will demand a more proactive set of leaders and not reactionary ones.

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(2) Followership:

With the low level of adherence to safety measures, Nigeria was expected to go the way of Italy if an outbreak actually happens. The heat of the virus could only be felt on the social media space; outside there, it has been business as usual for most Nigerians who have prioritised money over self-preservation. Several religious organizations, corporate bodies and other small scale enterprises have also failed to comply with safety measures and guidelines made by the government.

It is hoped that the outbreak will be contained with no devastating effects or else, we might have to re-examine our lives as followers and figure out how we got it all wrong.

(3) Over-reliance on crude oil:

86% of Nigeria’s export revenue is generated from petroleum exports and for decades, successive administrations have paid lip-services to the diversification of the local economy which is mono-cultural. Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, crude oil has become one of the top casualties in the international market with the price crashing from $57 to a figure below $30 within the last two months. Presently, Nigeria is also struggling to find buyers for its oil cargoes and has slashed prices to lure buyers. With the surge of the virus, Nigeria is at risk of not only an economic recession but also a depression. After the outbreak, we might begin to hold serious conversations about looking for more streams of revenue for the country.

(4) Excessive importation:

Nigeria’s population keeps growing exponentially but a large part of it remains unproductive and unemployment has become a huge problem amongst the people. Most of the good in Nigeria are imported, thereby causing a balance of payment deficit.

The country, unlike China, has failed to utilize its massive human resources to pursue industrialization and grow the local economy. We have a population we can’t feed nor cater for. Since China was almost brought to its knees by the Coronavirus, there has been a shortage of goods and services in Nigeria. This has also led to inflation as a result of the forces of demand and supply. After the scourge of the pandemic, encouraging industrialization and the growth of local factories might be a good conversation to hold in order to forestall a repeat of what we are passing through.

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(5) Power supply:

The electricity distribution companies are determined never to improve power supply. They have given up on improving the public perception about them and cumulatively, they have supplied more darkness than light. Since the stay-at-home order was given by the government, the power supply has been abysmal especially in Lagos State. This might get worse in the event of a national or state-declared lockdown if there is a big spike in the number of Coronavirus cases. Electricity supply has a pivotal role to play in ensuring the success of the lockdown as it keeps the life of the people going. There might be a need for the Federal Government to fast-track it’s negotiations with Siemens or explore other sources for the efficient generation and equitable distribution of power across the country.

(6) Health-care:

This sector has always been overwhelmed even by cases as simple as Malaria and Typhoid Fever. It was once revealed that the clinic at the Aso Rock Villa couldn’t boast of common paracetamol despite the budgetary allocations running into billions of naira. Since most of the hospitals in Nigeria are death traps, politicians have taken to medical tourism with President Buhari leading from the front in this aspect. It’s embarrassing that our hospitals are understaffed, officials are poorly trained, poorly remunerated and under-equipped. In the entire country, the number of ventilators needed to treat critical patients of Coronavirus isn’t up to 500. We presently face a shortage of medicine as 70% of our drugs are imported from India which is withholding them in case the battle against Coronavirus goes out of hand.

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Who would have thought powerful men like the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari and the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed could be stranded in Nigeria after contracting the Coronavirus? Other infected leaders will also face the uncertainties at the local hospitals they refused to fund and develop. Isn’t it shocking that Nigeria doesn’t have the capacity to produce face masks to be used as safety kits during this crisis period? I pray we don’t experience an outbreak of the magnitude of what Spain, Italy, Germany, South Korea, U.S, China have felt. It would teach us that our healthcare system was never designed to save lives but to take them in a slow fashion. Any ruling elite who survives this pandemic will know the importance of building and developing local hospitals in the nearest future. This is the opportunity to have a firsthand experience of the daily struggles of the poor masses.

With Coronavirus raging and straining the fragile structures and resources in Nigeria, Providence might have just given our leaders and the people a chance to re-evaluate our lives for the purpose of improving them through conscious efforts at the end of the battle with the common enemy.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Yolanda Pfost

    March 28, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks , I have recently been searching for information approximately this topic for ages and yours is the best I have discovered till now. But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure concerning the source?

  2. Amy Waterman

    March 29, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Your article has offered lots of helpful facts concerning this issue. I have learnt quite a lot from digesting this post and for this reason want to tell you a huge “thank you!”

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BREAKING: Nigeria records five new COVID-19 cases, 214 in total

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BREAKING: Nigeria records five new COVID-19 cases, 214 in total IMG 20200404 221816

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported five new cases of coronavirus in the country, taking the total number of infections to 214.

According to NCDC, “Five new cases of #COVID19 have been reported in Nigeria: three in Bauchi and two in the FCT, Abuja.

As at 10:10 pm 4th April there are 214 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. Twenty-five have been discharged with two deaths

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Controversy trails missing Osun COVID-19 patient

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Controversy trails missing Osun COVID-19 patient Gboyega oyetola 1140x570 1

There was contention on the position of the Osun state government officials over the COVID-19 patients who went missing at the isolation centre in Ejigbo and was later apprehended by the police who returned her to the Isolation facility in Ejigbo.

The Nation reports that the Commissioner of Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Funke Egbemonde refuted the claim that six people from the isolation centre escaped. However, she admitted that only one person was missing.

Egbemonde, in her first release, noted that only one coronavirus patient was missing at the facility in Ejigbo.

Her word, “This morning we embarked on a headcount and found out that only one person could not be accounted for by officials stationed at the isolation centre out of the 127 persons.

“The state government is currently investigating the matter and will ensure that the missing person is brought back to the isolation center and we will also ensure we trace all his contacts.

Egbemonde stressed that any officials(s) found culpable will also be dealt with accordingly urging members of the public to his countenance the alarm being raised.

Also, at about 2:30 PM, a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Ismail Omipidan confirmed that the COVID-19 patient who absconded the isolation centre in Ejigbo has been found.

Omipidan statement quoting the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation read, “The state government of Osun has found the only person who reportedly absconded the isolation center in Ejigbo earlier today.

She said that the state government was still in the process of tracing individuals she might have come in contact with adding that security within and around the isolation centre has been beefed up.

When the deputy governor, Mr. Benedict Alabi visited the isolation centre on Saturday evening, the police who are guiding the isolation center in Ejigbo lamented over poor welfare and lack of protective wares.

A policeman who addressed the deputy governor on behalf of about 75 other officers told the deputy governor that they lack protective wares at the duty post.

He said, they only received only a petty sum of N1,000 for the past three days after resuming duties in the isolation centre and were not given any food.

He noted that they have not been given nose masks, hand gloves, and other protective wears, saying with the peculiarities of the environment in the isolation centre, the provision of protective materials was critical for their health.

Responding, the deputy governor, who also doubles as the chairman, COVID-19 Taskforce Committee in Osun assured that all their complaints would be looked into, just as he charged them to be effective in providing security at the isolation centre.

When the deputy governor, Mr. Benedict Alabi was addressing journalists at the isolation centre, he contended that none of the returnees from Cote d’Ivoire, who tested positive escaped despite the official statement issued by the Commissioner of Information, Mrs. Funke Egbemode that the escaped returnee had been found.

Alabi who is also the chairman of the COVID-19 Task Force Committee said, “there is a mixup we are trying to sort out in the laboratory and another state which I won’t mention now. None of the Cote d’Ivoire returnees that tested positive is missing, they are all in the isolation centre.”

“All those who came into the state, we profile them by getting their phone numbers, addresses and that of their next of kin. Some of them did not believe the test we did which is the reason why we have security personnel around them. We have 17 of them tested positive and they are inside the isolation centre.”

“We are trying our best to see that we are fully prepared in Osun State that is all the effort we are making. All the index cases we have in the state are in the isolation centre and being taken care of and all the ones that are negative are preparing to leave for their various homes.”

“When the issues of the foreign returnees came to Ejigbo, we converted the General Hospital to isolation centre. We want to decentralize our isolation centre. We have in Ejigbo, Ile-Ife, and Osogbo, We are working on Ede’s own.”

However, the spokesperson of the returnees, who tested negative, Alhaji Mojeed Animashaun, an indigene of Iwo appreciated the state government for their kind gesture, just as he apologised for their hitherto unruly behaviour.

This was just as all the returnees who tested negative and not from Osun State left the isolation centre in Ejigbo yesterday for respective states.

From the breakdown of the figures, 11 of them are from Imo, Abia, Delta and Edo, 11 from Oyo State, two from Lagos, while one is from Ogun State.

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