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OPINION: How Coronavirus has sent the world to compulsory jail term, affecting the economy as well

Eberechi Obinagwam

Is no doubt that the world is being forced to stay home to help curtail the spread of Coronavirus.

China, were the first to start their lock down jail term as the peak of the pandemic by locking down 16 cities on January 23, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Kuwait, Poland, Spain, Europe, United Kingdom, joined, and right now, about 196 nations has joined the compulsory jail term that non of this citizen committed.

The aim is to curtail further spread of the virus and ensure they get those that may have come in contact with victims captured and get them isolated and also administer treatment.

In March, 26, President Muhammad Buhari in a quest to protect our homeland from external exposure, directed the immediate closure of our International Airports and Land Borders for four weeks in the first instance to enable Nigerians put the appropriate policies, processes and infrastructure to cope with suspected and confirmed cases at home, without risking a compounding of the situation with more imported cases though it was not a totally lock down to the nation.

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However, on March, 29, 2020, the President announced a 14 day cessation of movements and vehicles to two most epic states, which are, Abuja, Lagos, including Ogun state as a neighboring state in a live broadcast.

He did this after the number of cases rise to 97 in a nation that have over 200 million people from the two main cities.

But Lagos State government, under the leadership of Governor Sanwo – Olu had earlier lock down it’s states including markets, offices on the 26 of March as an epic center.

But presently, virtually all states in the country have shut down it’s boundaries and have ordered a stay home stay safe law.

Though at first, it looks like a mission impossible especially in Lagos but the story is different as streets, roads, and market places are seen shut down, and dried meaning that the orders is being adhired.

Even at the 80 percent compliance, it has really not been easy for many, serving a compulsory jail term like that man, woman that committed a crime and is being imprisoned by a court of law for a period of time which could be for months, or years.

Nigeria seems better compared to other developed countries like Finland, United States of America, Europe, Germany where nobody is allowed to be out on the street of which on a normal circumstances, no one will want or voluntarily stay home when they are alot to be done outside.

Some citizens of this countries who shared their experiences within this period of lock down affirmed that it’s really not been easy for them and as well are tired of the lock down, while some said it’s been like a holiday for them so far.

Jay Ata, Nigerian based in Germany in a chat said he is tired of staying home. “It has not been easy. We are serving a jail term. Nobody is allowed to go outside. Everywhere is cold. My bones are cold. I have been taking dry gin. I just finished one now to stay hot. I can’t wait to hear goodnews.” he stated.

A Nigerian in Finland, Miracle Amadi, said it’s to her like a holiday, because the government is taken care of them, so is not affecting her.
“People here are civil. They are not social people. On a normal day, they give people distance, let alone this Corona case. The government pays everyone affected monthly.
Supermarkets are open. It’s not a problem for anyone. I am enjoying my stay.” She said.

Also, Peace, a Nigerian in South Africa said is not easy but they have to adjust themselves pending when this pandemic will end.

For here in Nigeria, the story is different. They are complains , worries and questions of why Federal government should shut down it’s country without taking appropriate measures like other nations? The government is not paying anybody for staying home even though they claim to have paid all Nigerians

Glory, an articians of photography, CEO of Adorable Media Concept, said she is not happy with the federal government initiative of a lockdown order, but if at all it has to be done for the situation on ground, it would have been fair if the government is paying and providing foods for her like the developed countries are doing.

“We have been forced to stay home without food, and money coming from the federal government to sustain us.
“I do photography, right now there is no jobs for me because there is no gathering and I can’t open my studio to take studio pictures that will give me money because of the lockdown.
“Government is not giving us anything. We only tune in to hear, watch and read people donating Millions and billions but is not and has not gotten to us. Is not affecting them because they have more than enough in their houses. ” she said.

Another is Favour, a business developer in a private firm said the lock down is affecting her so much because the money she was paid for last month is exhausted and she is not expecting any money again until her company resumes duties which will be after the lock down of which no body knows when.

She noted that government will do well if the billions and millions they have been hearing people donating be shared appropriately and quick else it may lead to a valuation of law.

Indeed, there is no doubt that this shut down has affected the nation’s economy that recovering from the decline after this Coronavirus battle, will be a survival of the fittest or countries that have a well built structures in place.

Already, China the peak nation has started working on how best to pick up and start up with their business activities, like wise, Europe, Germany etc

But for Nigeria whose country was still trying to recover from the 2016 economic recession which was a fall out of global oil price crash and insufficient foreign exchange earnings to meet imports to be faced with this global calamity is a thing to be worried about.

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Reports had it that, in the spirit of economic recovery and growth sustainability, the Nigerian federal budget for the 2020 fiscal year was prepared with significant revenue expectations but with contestable realizations. The approved budget had projected revenue collections at N8.24 Trillion, an increase of about 20% from 2019 figure. The revenue assumptions are premised on increased global oil demand and stable market with oil price benchmark and oil output respectively at $57 per barrel and 2.18 Million Barrels Per Day

The virus which started from Wuhan, China in December 2019, has more than 1.2 million confirmed cases around the world, and more than 69, 000 deaths, while more than 264, 000 have recovered from the virus. This is for a recent report as the reports keep increasing.