Storming COVID 19: What do you see ?
(The brilliant citizen and the economist meet on the road — both wearing their face masks and standing 2 meters apart)
Economist: Hello, my Brilliant Citizen, it’s been over a month since we spoke. How are you doing? Are you back to work?
Brilliant Citizen: “My body de” (my body is fine). Thank God for good health oo. I am back to work with a pay cut!
Economist: Wow, sorry to note that, I hope the cut is not a lot?
Brilliant Citizen: It is o, it’s a 40% pay cut at the moment and there are indications that it could go higher. Yet, we are grateful to still have a job!
Economist: How about your other businesses and investments?
Brilliant Citizen: Which investment? “We wey de hustle to feed and survive, no money for investment oo” It’s small business here and there I was doing! It has slowed down this season. But, I am thinking of food business, you know man must always eat!
Economist: Yes, that’s true, Nigerians spend over 50% of their income on food, so food business is always good business. You need to focus on a segment that is not crowded with other businesses.
Brilliant Citizen: Don’t worry, “I still de think am”, I will come up with something shortly! So, tell me how is the Nigerian economy doing? Am I the only one that is suffering?
Economist: The Nigerian economy is not doing well. Earlier, we had predicted a GDP growth of about 2.5% but according to the World Bank, Nigeria will experience a decline in growth of -3.4%.
Brilliant Citizen: Wow, tell me more…
Economist: Nigeria’s main revenue source — oil — has been down even before the wide spread of corona virus. The oil price was as low as $10 per barrel earlier. We have seen it rise to above $30 in recent days but we are not sure how long it will stay there.
Brilliant Citizen: Nigeria and oil, it’s like somebody has glued us to this oil thing! Can’t we get revenue from other sources?
Economist: In the last few years, we have attempted to diversity our revenue with non- oil revenue accounting for about 35% of total revenue. However, there is still a long way to go with exports revenue, crude oil still makes up over 90% of Nigeria’s foreign revenue!
Brilliant Citizen: Aside this recession, what else do you see happening in Nigeria in the next few months?
Economist: Nigeria’s borrowings have increased and we may expect a few more.. IMF recently lent Nigeria $3.4 billion. The country needs more money to keep economic activities afloat!
Brilliant Citizen: Nigeria is borrowing again!!
Economist: Yes, we have very limited options with the pandemic and low oil prices. But remember, as discussed some months back “Nigeria’s Debt …aka “Gbese” https://medium.com/@esthermoyin/series-2-nigerias-debt-aka-gbese-eb6ae8da58e8 ,borrowing in itself is not bad, it’s what it is utilised for that matters. You and I must keep the government accountable!
Brilliant Citizen: Ok ok, what else do you see my Economist?
Economist: Cost cutting, just like your salary was cut, the government is looking for ways to cut cost across its arms. The popular Orosanye report has revived with focus on its implementation.
Brilliant Citizen: That’s true I have been hearing of the report. What is it about?
“The Oronsaye report details the findings of a committee set up by former President Goodluck Jonathan to essentially reduce the cost of governance, eliminate duplication of functions in government departments and agencies and reasonably devolve governmental powers”
The Orosanye report was developed in 2011 and it made suggestions on how the government can work more efficiently.
Brilliant Citizen: This sounds good for the common man. Our government needs to spend more wisely.
Do you see any other thing, opportunities for the common man like me?
Economist: Yes, the common man needs to have multiple streams of income like never before! You cannot depend only on your office salary. So, the common man needs to invest if he can. There are some investment options that are good this season, speak to your financial advisor or investment experts like Tomie Balogun https://www.tomiebalogun.com/
Brilliant Citizen: Any more opportunities?
Economist: Let’s ask our brilliant audience.
(Faces the audience) Dear brilliant audience please share with us other opportunities you see this season.. Thank you.
(Back to brilliant citizen) See you later dear brilliant citizen and remember to stay safe and harness the opportunities you see!
Special thanks to Wale Olusi, Abraham Afariogun and Yunus Ibrahim for their contribution to this article.
References: IMF report, KPMG report
For more details on the Orosanye report — https://www.lawyard.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Steve-Oronsaye-Report.pdf