A Don at the department of Economics, Nnamdi Azikiwe
University,(NAU), Awka Anambra state Prof.Uche Nwogwugwu has called on
Federal government to totally ease the two months old national lockdown
in Nigeria to allow economic recovery
Nwogwugwu made the call in an interview with journalists in Awka on Tuesday.
According to him,partial easing of the lockdown as announced by the Federal Government on Monday was still part of efforts to check the spread of Corona Virus, but was not targeted at salvaging the nation’s economy.
He said there should be increased enforcement of safety protocols keeping safe distance, use of facemask and alcohol based sanitiser, regular hand wash with possible penalty for offenders.
He also commended the federal government for approving the opening of worship centres for normal activities.
According to him, since inter state borders are closed, people cannot move freely to carryout business activities across states.
“From the letters and spirit of the pronouncement which eased the lockdown, you will see that is still geared towards managing Covid-19 pandemic, there is nothing there to suggest that government has the revival of the economy at mind.“Economic revival entails the effective interaction of interdependent factors , no state survives on its on, there has to be movement of people and goods for the economy to pickup” he stated.
Nwogwugwu said everything should be done to sustain demand to avoid firms and employers of labour sacking workers, stating that people must be supported to earn income.
He expressed fear that many firms may be forced to sack workers, if they run out of inventories and have difficulties in procuring raw materials .
“The natural consequence of continued economic lockdown is for firms and employers to sack workers in order to remain in business, when they don’t have inventory and cannot get raw materials to produce, they will take that option.“The Sweden model should be adopted, they did not lockdown, though they were cases and deaths but they system kept running unlike here were we locked down with cases and death yet the economy is suffering.“How swiftly we move to salvage this economy will determined how fast we can recover and escape recession.“To me, this lockdown is a additional burden on Nigerians who have been at home for two months without anything but have to pass through extortion of security agencies who enforce it, generally it has not been effective, “ he said.