The year 2020 indeed will go down as one of the unforgettable years in the history of Nigeria must as it’s for other nations of the world.
The realties of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic across the globe left bitter taste on the lips of many individuals, companies both private and public and that of governments and administration across the world.
Devastating was the effect of this outbreak as death swept through many European countries as health care centers struggled to contain the spread of the virus and save those affected.
The pathetic sight of Doctors and other health practitioners breaking down in tears as they struggled to contain the virus, the devastating look and expression on the faces of President of various countries give report of how their nation is faring in the wake of the onslaught of the virus.
The mainstream news media was filled with gory sights of people across Europe and Asia dying on the streets, the humbling sights of beautiful and vibrant cities and towns in the world turned empty and quiet over the lock down rule and Social Distancing regulation to curtail the spread of the virus.
Economies of many nations were killed and rendered on an all time record low as businesses crumbled. The closure of many big brands, companies, both private and public. Loss of jobs and loss of manpower as nations that were regarded as world giants struggled with the virus.
The expectations for the African continent were that of a message of doom, the expectation of coming disasters. Seeing countries with better health care system and organized government struggling to contain the situation all to no avail as people died in their hundreds and thousands daily sent fears down the spine of many Africans as to what will be the fate of many African countries who are regarded as a third war country who did not posses the economic strength of many of the European countries who were severely dealt with by the outbreak of the novel virus.
Same reaction trailed the Nigerian society as the people wondered how the federal government will manage the situation to prevent the onslaught that happened in many European countries.
It’s no news that Nigeria despite its wealth and resources lacks a standard Health care sector that can adequately control cases like this, it came as a shock to many to see the African continent record less impact as witnessed by the other countries of the world.
Spain, France and the United States of America were severely hit by the onslaught of the viruses. The thought of many was that there will be great damages, loss of life and a failed economy by the time the virus had found it passage to other nations of the world.
While the virus found it way to Nigeria, the Federal Government and other non governmental organizations swung to action by using the media as a viable tool to sensitizing the Nigerian populace on the need to follow the lock down rule and social distancing regulations which was put in place to curtail the spread of the virus.
However the major problem which the Federal Government battled to overcome was the need to fully convince the people that the Covid-19 pandemic was not a myth or a make believe story.
This was as a result of the belief of many that the virus had no hold over the Nigerian populace. Many believed that the federal government had decided to exaggerate the pandemic so that it could be positioned for financial aids from international bodies.
Objectively analyzing the management of the Pandemic by the Federal Government and the people, we can say that it’s one which leaves more to be desired.
While of a truth the effects of the virus in Nigeria cannot be described as being the same with other European countries, one which we must count as a blessing, we must however raise eyebrows over certain activities of the federal government; much of which centers on its inability to fully account for the funds it got from international bodies to cushion the effect of the virus.
Adding to this the NCDC which served as the regulatory body managing the spread of the pandemic and it’s inability to fully carry out a comprehensive test of the Populace despite the funds which was made available for its functions.
Several towns and cities across the Federation did not have a sight of health workers coming to conduct any test or offer palliatives in this regards as against the claims of the Federal Government.
It will be recalled that few weeks ago, following the event of the ENDSARS protest where people to the streets to unearthed several items in their hundreds, worth millions of naira which were meant to be palliatives items to support the masses in cushioning the effect of the virus in Nigeria were tucked away in warehouses.
This was followed by a massive looting by the people who carted away these items for them consumption leaving the state governments trying to offer valid explanations behind the existence of these warehouses found in their respective states.
While talking about this, the biggest impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria was the one it hard on the National Economic outlook. One which saw to it that the Nigerian Economy was severely dealt a big blow.
As a result of the lock down rule which saw to the ban on interstate close down and the ban on international flights, closure of Government offices and Agencies, the close down of various other businesses and enterprise grossly affected the nation’s Economy.
The inability and eventual failure of the federal government of Nigeria to successfully create an economic blueprint that will see to it that there’s a fall back plan to help minimize the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on its Economy further saw to it that the nation’s financial wit was greatly affected.
Again, the global scene draws closer to the event of the second phase of the Covid-19 lockdown, many Countries have already began to make plans to ensure that it’s National existence is not affected by the ravaging effect of the virus, especially on its health care system and its Economy.
Arising from the aforementioned, the onus now lies on the Federal Government to ensure that it begins to take proper step to ensure that it’s ready to control and manage another event of a second phase of Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
This is because further harm and drop to the nation’s economy outlook will eventually set it on a slippery slope to further damnation. It is the hope and prayer of many that in case it happens, it will it not be another opportunity for the federal government and other related agencies under it to see the opportunity as another platform to “cash out” and make money for themselves at the expense of the people but another opportunity for them to prove their worth as honest and trustworthy public officials.
By Marcus Amudipe