Elder statesman Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, Former Deputy Governor Central Bank of Nigeria and Convener To Build a Nation (TBAN) and Adamu Jauro Garba II, Founder and Group CEO of IPI Group will converge today, to deliberate on the impact of coronavirus on the nation’s economy.
They would also interrogate whether the current political structure is addressing the problem appropriately.
The conference is scheduled to hold today in a video conference. It is titled,” The Coronavirus pandemic, is it time to re-evaluate the political structure?”
Covid-19: Turning a crisis into opportunities series is being organised by Governance Index – a Social Enterprise dedicated to promoting purposeful leadership around the world.
In a statement signed by the organiser’s spokesman, Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke, the group said the outbreak of Coronavirus has rapidly permeated and profoundly changed the world.
“Economies around the world are fighting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, not least in Nigeria, which was already tackling its fiscal challenges.
“While this crisis is first and foremost a public health issue, which has claimed the lives of about 300,000 people worldwide, and counting, the economic damages are unprecedented on several fronts: crude oil prices have declined dramatically.”
Explaining the objective of the conference Mazi Ezeoke stated: “these outcomes have expectedly thrown the global economy into a recession, the depth and duration of which is currently difficult to fathom.”
Asking “what the economic impact of COVID-19 in Nigeria will be”, the statement added that “Nigeria is still dependent on oil, so the current crash in oil prices is adding to the COVID-19 lockdown effect where people stop spending.
“The Nigerian government is projecting revenue flow from oil to decline from 5.5 trillion Naira in 2020 to 1.1 trillion Naira, so we have a sudden fiscal crisis in Nigeria presenting some pretty immense economic challenges.
“The impact will be felt across all sectors because of the country-wide lockdown, there are concerns around overall economic activity in sectors like retail and real estate, and how banks adjust to that.
“Around the world, countries have moved away from multilateralism and responded by fighting for themselves with several measures to protect their people and economies, regardless of the spillover effects on the rest of the world.
“Nigeria has reacted by directing lockdowns and palliatives. But the federal government cannot cope, the state governments are nowhere to be found, and the local government system has collapsed.
“The crisis offers us an opportunity to ask: is our current federal system of governance fit for purpose?
“The conference will explore the lessons we could learn from the COVID-19 crisis and whether it presents us with an opportunity to revisit and re-evaluate the structure of government for the benefit of our people. “