The need to invest in knowledge infrastructure is urgent to reinvent the nation post-COVID-19. the reality of life investing in data and science is important in today’s global knowledge economy. Knowledge is about facts, information, and skills. This includes how we engage with our daily lives even through social media. One of the issues during the current COVID-19 pandemic is the outrage of information shared through social media. both the school and post-school system, private and public, have a role to play in the post-COVID-19 in our country Nigeria.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call to policymakers as the unusual and unprecedented nature of the crisis has made it impossible for citizens to rely on foreign health care services and more difficult to solicit for international support given the competing demand for medical supplies and equipment. A more integrated response spanning several sectors including the health, finance, and trade sectors is required to address thestructural issues that make the country less resilient to shocks and limit its range of policy responses. In the long term, tougher decisions need to be made in improving investments in the health care sector in ensuring that the economy is able to recover quickly from difficult conditions in the future.
While the virus infects people regardless of wealth and social status, the poor will be most affected. In 2018-2019, Nigeria surpassed India in terms of the number of people living in abject poverty (world poverty clock). With a recession looming as a result of the pandemic, that number will only grow if proper measures are not enacted. Living in typically high-density houses, with reduced access to sanitation, and a lack of savings to facilitate self-isolation, the population of poor indigent Nigeria’s are at greater risk of contracting the disease. More so, due to the high cost of health care, greater economic fragility, and higher mortality rates, we are bound to see many more Nigerians fall below the poverty line before this is over.
To reduce unemployment and poverty, which are inevitably linked to this pandemic, it is imperative that policymakers provide relief packages tailored particularly to Nigeria’s vulnerable citizens. Nigeria needs to ease the financial burden ensuing from the lockdown, and cushion the aftermath of the pandemic.
The Way Forward
It is no news that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the global and Nigerian economy. However, our country need to cushion the impact of the virus by introducing measures to protect companies and their workers, most especially the vulnerable citizens, from the impact of the quarantine measures. Such measures could include:
Unemployment benefits, Employment retention, Social assistance benefits, Financial support and tax relief
While these measures will not single-handedly contain the pandemic, it will encourage the citizenry to stay at home, reduce the spread, and alsohelp reduce the level of unemployment, day-light robbery, and poverty ensuing from the pandemic.
The Challenges Ahead: Labour force (formal and informal), The Security, Transportation sector, Tax payments
Engr. Offor Chiagoziem .B.