COVID-19 Lockdown: Expert seeks total relaxation of economic activities

An economic expert, Professor Uche Nwogwugwu has called for a total easing of the two months’ old national lockdown in order to put the country on the path of economy recovery.

Nwogwugwu, a lecturer at the Department of Economics of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) Awka, made the call in an interview with the press in Awka.

He said that the partial easing of the lockdown announced by the Federal Government on Monday was still part of efforts to check the spread of Coronavirus, but not targeted at salvaging the nation’s economy.

The energy economics specialist said there should be an increased enforcement of safety protocols.

According to him, this includes keeping safe distance, use of facemask and alcohol-based sanitiser as well as regular hand wash with possible penalty for offenders.

He commended the Federal Government for approving the opening of worship centres for normal activities and called for similar policy for transportation, trade and commerce.

“Our inter state borders are still closed, people cannot move freely to carryout businesses across the states.

From the letters and spirit of the pronouncement, which eased the lockdown, you will see that it is still geared toward managing COVID-19 pandemic.

There is nothing there to suggest that government has revival of the economy in mind.

Economic revival entails the effective interaction of interdependent factors.

No state survives on its on; there has to be movement of people and goods for the economy to pick, what is important is that safety measures are observed,” he said.

Nwogwugwu said that everything should be done to avoid firms and other employers of labour from laying off workers, adding that people must be supported to earn income.

He said that firms may be forced to sack workers if they run out of inventories and have difficulties in procuring raw materials, which required movement of people and goods from one state to another.

Source: Voice of Nigeria