Issues discussed in a town hall meeting organized by LN24 News.
Counting the cost of the impact of the covid-19 lockdown on Human lives is unprecedented. In the light of this LN247 NEWS in conjunction with Loveworld Media Coordinating Centre and Office of Corporate Affairs of Loveworld Incorporated, organized a town hall meeting to discuss the theme with stakeholders, at the Water Falls Event Center, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos.
The impact of lockdown on the global economy is enormous and felt across the global supply chain to the plummeting of growth rate, high inflation, and food security. Microchip shortage was a prevalent problem for the manufacturing industry during the pandemic. The combination of surging demand for consumer products such as laptops, phones, and other mobile devices that contain chips and pandemic-related disruptions in production has led to shortages and skyrocketing prices for semiconductors over the past two years.
In automobiles, they are needed for everything from entertainment systems to power steering. And for the auto industry, the supply crunch and shortage of chips have forced car manufacturers to cut production and delivery targets and have led to a number of profit warnings. In a nutshell, the chip shortage is due to strong demand and no supply. ‘’carmakers across the industry are grappling with toned-down sales expectations and production cuts. Volkswagen (VW), Europe’s largest automaker said it had made around 800,000 fewer cars in q3 of 2021, or about 35% less than in the same quarter in 2020, blaming the semiconductor supply bottlenecks.
The impact of lockdown on transportation cannot be measured especially on civil aviation. Airlines scrambled to seek financial support from the government. Restrictions on global travel enormously affected businesses and tourism. Countries that are heavily dependent on tourism suffered a great deal.
This also in turn led to the forced introduction of vaccine passports in some regions. In comparison to 2019, airlines would see 1.5 billion fewer international air travelers in 2020 resulting In a loss of $273 billion. ICAO year-end report shows seating capacity fell by around 50 percent last year, just 1.8 billion passengers took flight through 2020 compared with around 4.5 billion in 2019. The energy industry rallied on the back of this development, before the covid-19 pandemic, U.S oil production hit an all-time high of about 13 million barrels per day (bpd).
As the pandemic unfolded, demand for oil collapsed, and production followed. by May 2020, oil production had dropped by more than 3 million bpd to 9.7 million bpd. Rising oil prices, in response to insufficient supplies — are the predominant reason for the surge in gasoline prices. The most recent data available from the energy information administration (EIA) shows current U.S oil production at 11.6 million bpd, which is still 1.4 million bpd short of pre-pandemic production. and bringing it home to Africa and Nigeria… His excellency babajide sanwo-olu executive governor of Lagos states, the commercial nerve center of Nigeria, directed all markets and stores trading in non-essential commodities to close for seven days. the directive took effect on Thursday, March 26, 2020.
Also, the governor reduced the number of people that must participate in a public gathering at any given time from 50 to 25. Other public places shut by the government include parks, playgrounds, and recreational centers within the state, regardless of ownership. Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) engaged in wholesale and retail trade represent both a major segment of the economy and a source of employment in developing countries. they also constitute a key link in the supply chains that carry goods to consumers. In Lagos, Nigeria, wholesale and retail businesses were impacted by a lockdown that lasted from 26 March to 4 may 2020, as well as a range of continuing restrictions on market activity and travel after the lockdown was lifted. traders’ businesses were heavily impacted by the Lagos state lockdown. Almost all operated in markets that closed during the lockdown. No doubt the shutting down of businesses, events centers and places of worship (the church) had a huge impact on human relationships and interactions.
The introduction of emergency rule during this period was an unprecedented infringement on human rights and freedom of expression. For example, the Lagos state government imposed a new rule for buying and selling in open markets for three days a week, from the hours of 9 am to 3 pm. Before the lockdown in 2019, the Nigerian economy was volatile, recording slow growth. The Nigerian manufacturing industry is was heavily hit by the lockdown because the sector is largely import-dependent which has made it very vulnerable to external shocks.
Another question is how the economic effects correlate to the environment? It was recorded that coronavirus lockdowns had a positive impact on the environment…reduced pollution, and promote clean air in heavily populated countries such as China, India, and the u.s. apparently, the world economy forum seeks to fund or promote clean air through Philantrophy was the lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the virus or to protect the environment? Egyptians notice cuts in air pollution from covid lockdown while, china saw its first major decline in emissions in three years in march 2020 during the lockdown, a study shows 100 million tonnes of carbon emission dropped in 2 weeks. Reports also show air pollution returns after the end of the covid lockdown.
The introduction of the United Nations target for a zero-emission, carbon tax, energy transition, and the likes as policies for climate action by world government has a correlation to the reduction of human activities especially industrial operations that saw the shutdowns and lockdown around the world during the pandemic very effective. However, some of the climate change actions proposed and the pandemic aggravated the harsh economic situation in Nigeria. Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice president of Nigeria comments.
PUSHBACKS ON VACCINE MANDATES AND THE GLOBAL AWAKENING In 2021, “the fact is that more than 3,600 people died of cholera in one year. This is really very far when compared to the number of people who died from covid-19 in two years in Nigeria.
The question remains why? covid-19 got all the political eagerness to halt it. While other ailments are still ravaging people in Nigeria:
1. VACCINE HESITANCY: In Nigeria, a total of 20,617,588 vaccine complete doses have been administered out of a population of over 200 million, why the vaccine hesitancy? more than 80% of the population of the African continent has yet to receive a single dose of the covid vaccine. Vaccine went wrong…and the signing of indemnity by vaccine manufacturers is something to question. in the west, some countries suspended vaccination due to side effects discouraging many.
2. NATURAL IMMUNITY VS VACCINATION: experts say, the omicron variant did change the risk-benefit analysis of coronavirus, hence natural immunity beating vaccination hands down.
According to the lancet publication on Nov 8, 2021; several studies have found that people who recovered from covid-19 and tested seropositive for anti-sars-cov-2 antibodies have low rates of sars-cov-2 reinfection
3. VACCINE MANDATE IN LABOUR MARKET: Introduction of the vaccine mandate and passport swept through the labor market across the globe; and the protests that followed. in Europe, for example, the freedom convoy in Canada saw the freezing of accounts of protesters… Meanwhile, the Nigerian government adopted the vaccine mandate for public civil servants, and many reacted and called it a copy and paste policy.
4. VACCINE MANUFACTURE/LOCAL PRODUCTION: Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia are the first African countries to receive the technology needed to produce mrna vaccines from the world health organization.WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the award Friday Feb 18, 2021. in Brussels at the EUROPEAN UNION-AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT. the question is this one way to gain compliance from Africa? The US and Biden administrations will “surge” more than $250 million to 11 African countries for coronavirus vaccine campaigns. The countries slated to receive the “intensive support” are: Angola, ivory coast, Eswatini – formerly known as Swaziland, Ghana, Lesotho, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The European Union (EU) has begun the implementation of its new €100million humanitarian initiative on vaccination campaigns in Africa. As of February 14, 2022, the world bank approved operations to support vaccine rollout in 67 countries amounting to $7.5 billion.
WHY AFRICA? WHY THE HUGE INVESTMENT?
However, Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo speaks about the lessons learned during the pandemic and lockdown saying no country can thrive in isolation. As the world moved to the post-pandemic era, reactions have continued to trail the dedicated funds on covid-19 pandemic and vaccine campaign instead of human capital development, education, and health care.