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Politico-socio-economic spread of COVID-19

Politico-socio-economic spread of COVID-19

Respiratory diseases come with a lot of challenges primed by their virulent factors as described by public health experts. After the first outbreak of the devastating strain of the corona virus referred to as COVID-19 surfaced in November 2019, it has spread like wild fire, with Italy being the hardest hit after its native milieu, China. Unlike other viral infections of the respiratory predilection, the COVID-19, with a lower mortality rate has caused major ripples globally.

While the World Health Organization, a specialised agency of the United Nations that is concerned with the world’s public health was reluctant to declare it a full-blown pandemic (A pandemic is a disease epidemic that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents, or worldwide.) there is no denying the fact that in plain terms it is a pandemic.

Quite particularly, a meme (joke) by two white men having a swinging conversation, on the popular social media channel, Twitter, caught my attention. It was in reference to the Europeans’ attitude towards issues of concern. Firstly, an outright denial of its existence, what follows is playing down the possibility of its attack, then an effort to double down on its impact and lastly an acknowledgement of the foolishness of the previous succession of actions.
A keen follower of global events would see that the chain of events has not been any different. While there has not been a shortage of conspiracy theories from the insinuations that it was an intentionally developed biological weapon set out to decimate the world’s population to the micro specification that the United States’ government has a hand in its development to clamp down on China and its fanning influence on the global economy, the Africans are not left out of the unempirical show of wits; about how it is a Caucasian and white-skinned-specific apposite of the viral haemorrhaging fever, Ebola virus, which is non-specific to the black skinned. But with the reported infection of Chelsea FC’s teenage footballer, Callum Hudson Odoi, and some other black-skinned infected, such an unfounded fallacy has been binned for a more robust discussion.

In the financial market, the COVID-19 spread was fitted into its proper place like other Black Swan Events, which caused great panic. Like in the past, the spread of the virus across Europe and the Asian markets plunged not just the value of commodities but also affected the price of safe heaven assets like gold, with the yellow metal dropping to a three-month low on the market. The FTSE 100, the UK’s main market index lost 10% of its value in a trading day, seeing its steepest decline since 1987. According to a BBC reportage, this is ‘’despite actions by the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank to ease financial strains’’. The US government’s attempt to buffer the dollar’s strength saw it lose billions of its currency value in less than an hour. The price of oil in the global oil market was not spared. In a report, the Oil prices suffered their biggest fall in thirty years, akin to the time when American forces launched air strikes on Iraqi troops following their invasion of Kuwait.

Patronage in retail outlets have tanked, with online retail stores recording massive sales volume at breakneck speed. However, the victims have been restaurant and retail food outlets who have closed shops in popular Chinese and Italian towns. Government revenue from tourism suffered the most with ban in public gathering in countries where the pandemic has festered. Most football and sport competitions have been placed on hold, with the often obstinate British football regulatory agencies following suit. Airlines are not spared of the scourge, with ticket price at its lowest ebb and imposed travel restrictions from countries with severe cases like the most of Europe and Asia.

Africa has recorded minute cases, Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been reckoned with as one of the best global disease management centre. One that has been proactive rather than reactive as seen in places like the US where citizens loot isolation centres, leaving them running short of medical supplies like gloves, face mask and tissue papers. Nigeria’s index case was quickly taken into isolation and treated as an emergency, and it’s spread can be said at present to be contained. The second case according to the authorities has been said to have been certified negative. While the world battles, Nigeria might have scored another first in its epidemic management and control without due credit as like other occasions, but is Africa safe from the crippling effect of the virus?
Buhari’s flailing Naira

In all these one begs answers for the sudden tanking of the Nigerian Naira. With economically repressive policies and the failure of the Buhari administration to allow for the prevalence of market-driven forces in the determination of exchange rates, the naira is at the mercy of speculators like in mid-2015 till early 2016 when it gained mild stability.

The long-held deception about Nigeria’s growth being driven by non-oil sectoral activities was quickly exposed as the price of oil – Nigeria’s monolithic revenue source – fell below the benchmarked budgeted price. With the global price of oil falling about 55% of the benchmarked price, Nigeria stands a risk of another recession especially with the outmoded and egocentric decision to protect rather than devalue the Naira.

As a knock-on effect, the first casualty was the foreign reserves which fell from $44 billion to $38 billion (13% of its worth) in less than a week. The black market, operated by the Bureau de Change owners, which has been the go-to source of foreign exchange for small and medium business owners – no thanks to the conspiracy of the mainstream commercial banks – led on. In Abuja, as early as 10 am on Wednesday, the ‘’aboki’’ on the street had already pegged his dollar at N420 from the N355.

Respiratory diseases come with a lot of challenges primed by their virulent factors as described by public health experts. After the first outbreak of the devastating strain of the corona virus referred to as COVID-19 surfaced in November 2019, it has spread like wild fire, with Italy being the hardest hit after its native milieu, China. Unlike other viral infections of the respiratory predilection, the COVID-19, with a lower mortality rate has caused major ripples globally.
While the World Health Organization, a specialised agency of the United Nations that is concerned with the world’s public health was reluctant to declare it a full-blown pandemic (A pandemic is a disease epidemic that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents, or worldwide.) there is no denying the fact that in plain terms it is a pandemic.

Quite particularly, a meme (joke) by two white men having a swinging conversation, on the popular social media channel, Twitter, caught my attention. It was in reference to the Europeans’ attitude towards issues of concern. Firstly, an outright denial of its existence, what follows is playing down the possibility of its attack, then an effort to double down on its impact and lastly an acknowledgement of the foolishness of the previous succession of actions.
A keen follower of global events would see that the chain of events has not been any different. While there has not been a shortage of conspiracy theories from the insinuations that it was an intentionally developed biological weapon set out to decimate the world’s population to the micro specification that the United States’ government has a hand in its development to clamp down on China and its fanning influence on the global economy, the Africans are not left out of the unempirical show of wits; about how it is a Caucasian and white-skinned-specific apposite of the viral haemorrhaging fever, Ebola virus, which is non-specific to the black skinned. But with the reported infection of Chelsea FC’s teenage footballer, Callum Hudson Odoi, and some other black-skinned infected, such an unfounded fallacy has been binned for a more robust discussion.

In the financial market, the COVID-19 spread was fitted into its proper place like other Black Swan Events, which caused great panic. Like in the past, the spread of the virus across Europe and the Asian markets plunged not just the value of commodities but also affected the price of safe heaven assets like gold, with the yellow metal dropping to a three-month low on the market. The FTSE 100, the UK’s main market index lost 10% of its value in a trading day, seeing its steepest decline since 1987. According to a BBC reportage, this is ‘’despite actions by the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank to ease financial strains’’. The US government’s attempt to buffer the dollar’s strength saw it lose billions of its currency value in less than an hour. The price of oil in the global oil market was not spared. In a report, the Oil prices suffered their biggest fall in thirty years, akin to the time when American forces launched air strikes on Iraqi troops following their invasion of Kuwait.

Patronage in retail outlets have tanked, with online retail stores recording massive sales volume at breakneck speed. However, the victims have been restaurant and retail food outlets who have closed shops in popular Chinese and Italian towns. Government revenue from tourism suffered the most with ban in public gathering in countries where the pandemic has festered. Most football and sport competitions have been placed on hold, with the often obstinate British football regulatory agencies following suit. Airlines are not spared of the scourge, with ticket price at its lowest ebb and imposed travel restrictions from countries with severe cases like the most of Europe and Asia.

Africa has recorded minute cases, Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been reckoned with as one of the best global disease management centre. One that has been proactive rather than reactive as seen in places like the US where citizens loot isolation centres, leaving them running short of medical supplies like gloves, face mask and tissue papers. Nigeria’s index case was quickly taken into isolation and treated as an emergency, and it’s spread can be said at present to be contained. The second case according to the authorities has been said to have been certified negative. While the world battles, Nigeria might have scored another first in its epidemic management and control without due credit as like other occasions, but is Africa safe from the crippling effect of the virus?
Buhari’s flailing Naira

In all these one begs answers for the sudden tanking of the Nigerian Naira. With economically repressive policies and the failure of the Buhari administration to allow for the prevalence of market-driven forces in the determination of exchange rates, the naira is at the mercy of speculators like in mid-2015 till early 2016 when it gained mild stability.

The long-held deception about Nigeria’s growth being driven by non-oil sectoral activities was quickly exposed as the price of oil – Nigeria’s monolithic revenue source – fell below the benchmarked budgeted price. With the global price of oil falling about 55% of the benchmarked price, Nigeria stands a risk of another recession especially with the outmoded and egocentric decision to protect rather than devalue the Naira.

As a knock-on effect, the first casualty was the foreign reserves which fell from $44 billion to $38 billion (13% of its worth) in less than a week. The black market, operated by the Bureau de Change owners, which has been the go-to source of foreign exchange for small and medium business owners – no thanks to the conspiracy of the mainstream commercial banks – led on. In Abuja, as early as 10 am on Wednesday, the ‘’aboki’’ on the street had already pegged his dollar at N420 from the N355.

Another recession in just about a year of the Buhari second term at the presidency will not only signal the problematic nature of his economic priorities or the less inspiring effort to drive the economy towards a known direction, but a telling prognostication of a heavily failed attempt at managing the economy better than the much talked about ‘’locust years’’ of the PDP. The APC has been less inspiring and directionless as the PDP which it is often wont to heap Nigeria’s woes on.

A post-Buhari presidency will be a behemoth of results. One of them will be the failure to inspire confidence in a 2015 ecstatic Nigeria populace. As the time ticks, the hope wanes, and Nigerians whine!

Follow me on Twitter @Kayce_Joshua

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1 Comment

  • softdev , March 16, 2020 @ 4:48 pm

    Good!!

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