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Covid-19 and the Oil Price Crash zoom conference – Issues

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On 01 May 2020, the Transform Nigeria Citizens Initiative (TNCI), Concerned Nigerians Forum (CNF) sponsored a 3 hour virtual Conference hosted by The Governance Index – a Social Enterprise dedicated to promoting purposeful leadership around the world.

It had the former CBN Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo as Guest Speaker; Marcel Ngogbehei, a Sloan Fellow from London Business School, Paul Ejime, Communications Consultant for ECOWAS and EU, Orji Udemezue, a management and financial consulant, and Alwal Hassan, a public policy consultant, as Panelists and over 150 participants around the world in attendance.

The Participants agreed that there is need for policy makers across the country to strategize and provide a home grown solution to avert a looming economic crisis as a result of the COVID-19 and the crash in oil price.

The Zoom conference titled ‘Covid-19 and the Oil Price Crash, its implications for Nigeria, held on 1st May 2020 is the second of the ‘Covid-19: Turning a crisis into Opportunities’ series being promoted by the Governance Index.

For the full report from the conference, see:
https://elombah.com/covid-19-coalition-challenge-govt-to-embrace-home-grown-solution/

On the chatroom of the zoom conference, attendees were busy pointing out and discussing the issues raised by discussants. See below

EXCERPTS OF CHAT FROM COVID-19 ZOOM MEETING 01/05/2020

Elombah : But where do we get the balance between lives and livelihood… between economy and survival
Chinedu Akpa : Thank you Prof Soludo for throwing more light on the covid 19 situation. What is the position with regards to vaccines? Which vaccine is the National Assembly trying to legislate for?
Julius Akpong : Wow, the Ethiopian case is surprising.
UCHE C. NWUKA : Africans must come together more than before.
Chris Odumenya : ….but is this virus really as deadly as we are led to believe
Iobele: Thank you, Prof! Please what will you do differently as a CBN Governor of African major economies?
Nwoba Theo : Thank you Prof for the insights. What are the alternative economic sectors Nigeria should quickly begin to invest in, now that the oil sector has crashed?
Oby Ndukwe : my worry is that no country including Nigeria has come out to let the rest of the world know what they have used to treat people they say has been discharge, why the secrecy it appears its all trial and error, my thought though
Precious : Thank you Professor for the presentation, I read your article today on COVID-19: Can Africa Afford Lockdowns? Please on the issue of easing the lockdown, how can the government efficiently ensure that citizens comply with the social distancing or physical distancing policies in the face of easing the lockdown for economic activities to thrive so as to reduce further community transmission? I have witnessed how government officials are bridging NCDC procedures.
Paulinus Obodoechi : The effect of covid -19 on our economy is becoming clearer. Thanks prof. for the analysis.
Elombah : Ethiopeans don’t travel much around
chigbo uzokwelu : They do
Elombah : They may also have younger population
Ken Oguzie : The key is around best practises and tweaking it to our local reality.
Nwoba Theo : I also think that flight traffic into Ethiopia have probably gone down considerably due to airport closure in other countries that passengers would ordinarily come in
From Valery Nwuka, Development Economist: have a question please. Ethiopia does not have a population remotely close to that of Nigeria. They have also invested heavily in their health care systems for the past few years. There was also mandatory quarantine for compromised persons. If the UK, Italy and US did not control this from the start and allowed free movement from the beginning, with an extensively developed healthcare system in both the UK and Italy especially and yet their death rates are reasonably high, why then do we believe that Nigeria’s healthcare system will be able to handle the influx of patients?
Maazi Ezeoke : Ethiopia has about 110 m people
Vitalis : Prof, please what can be done to enforce the social distancing amongst the people as government and gifted individuals are willing to feed them. but the problem has always been people themselves scrambling for the palliatives at a time when they are supposed to organize themselves.
UCHE C. NWUKA : Nigeria has more than 200m people.
Elombah : What are the economic opportunity of Covid-19
Ken Oguzie : The concept of flattening the curve is based on mitigating against the healthcare system being overwhelmed by huge numbers of patients. Self-isolation , phased restriction etc are tool put in place to create the balance. No nation regardless of how sophisticated their healthcare system is can handle the number of patients we are witnessing during this pandemic. Luckily, with an average age of 17 years, Nigeria has some wins which can limit the pressure on our fragile healthcare system, as we might not have as many COVID patients requiring health care. Then again, lack of planning can still overwhelm our healthcare system. A phased end of lockdown coupled with public health care measures and palliative support seem like the most rational way to go about it.
Prof. Osuagwu : Prof Soludo: What are the likely impacts of COVID 19 on academic work with regard to teaching , learning & research?
Valery N : Population:
Ethiopia: 109 million
Nigeria: 195 million
Populus city:
Ethiopia: 2.7 million (Addis Ababa)
Nigeria: 21 million (Lagos)
Dr Peter Atorough : I think that while the arguments about livelihood definitely outweighs saving lives through restrictions, they miss the point about the actual purpose of lockdowns, which is really a measure taken to create urgency and vigilance in the population, create a breathing space for authorities as they prepare emergency measures, and slow the rate of transmission (R). Lockdowsn will not eliminate the disease and do not need to be very long but even a 2 week lockdown has the potential to reduce R if adhered to. Most people breaking the lockdown in Nigeria were doing so for social rather than economic reasons.
Elombah (4) : We have no choice but to devalue
Paulinus Obodoechi : Mr Udemezue ten points can be termed as vision 2023.
Dr Peter Atorough : supply chain is not ready
Marcel Ngogbehei : China adopted the managed locked down approach
chigbo uzokwelu : Nigeria should have done the opposite: no lockdown at all
Vitalis : Prof, am just wondering if the government is thinking on the effect of housing as covid -19 has shown that there are a lot of homeless people
Udemezue : Interesting joke, Prof. …It is already flooding here…lol. Inability to delay gratification!!
Marcel Ngogbehei : Massive enlightenment of citizens will help a lot
Dr Peter Atorough : Thank you Chukwuma. Your answer has provided good clarity. Livelihood is critical. But ignoring Covid entirely is going to make living even more impossible. Malaria is somewhat more understood and we have developed some levels of capacity to manage. So sure, lockdowns are not the ideal solution for Africa, but urgency to address the very question of livelihood itself
J C Elombah : it makes sense that the lockdown should be lifted systematically
UCHE C. NWUKA : Leaders must be responsible.
chigbo uzokwelu : Nigeria cannot really implement and enforce lockdown and bungled lockdown puts us in a worse situation
UCHE C. NWUKA : Nigerians want more from our leaders. Provide the basic social amenities. We need to demand for these amenities.
J C Elombah : prof. remember the elderly woman who slump on the road and died because she could no longer bear the adverse effect of covid-19as a result of lockdown
Elombah : Nigeria should go back to the drawing board!
Marcel Ngogbehei : The Current Federal structure is the graveyard of innovation in Nigeria.
J C Elombah : WHO is a scam : Africa should think african
Chinyere Azike : that’s new, thinking without the box! I like it!
Bunmi Odeyemi : Nigeria, the nation with great potentials, great opportunities but with very many square pegs in round holes. It’s a pleasure listening to great minds as we have on this platform, but would be even more exciting that these great minds could be on the right seats giving life to these words. Lord help us!
Princessa : African solutions for africa
Elombah : If Ethiopia can do it, why can’t Nigeria?
Dr Peter Atorough : This is where we as individuals forget the excuses about bad governance . Where are the entrepreneurs? Where are the investors into African startups? Where the Tony Elumelu are’s with innovation initiatives?
UCHE C. NWUKA : Yes! The leadership challenge in Nigeria is sickening : Agriculture and other sectors. Creative Industry
Elombah : IT will be very critical
Marcel Ngogbehei : The GMO industry…..????
J C Elombah : we need to eat food to build our immunity : to be able to fight covid- 19
Elombah family (4) : Someone asked above: where are the entrepreneurs? Where are the investors into African start-ups? Where the Tony Elumelu’s with innovation initiatives? Are we only concentrating on government?
Nnaji Chidinma : with focus on agriculture for food sustenance will come a room for manufacturing in terms of food preservation.
Chukwuemeka Nwosu : The real challenge is accessing credit from banks so as to increase yield. How do we get the banks to key in?
UCHE C. NWUKA : Thank you Transform Nigeria Citizens Initiative(TNCI) and concerned Nigerians Forum(CNF). We need more of this opportunity.
ELOPEE : When is the national assembly cutting down their budget in view of the present economic reality?
UCHE C. NWUKA : @Chukwuemeka Nwosu, please, visit Bank of Industry.

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