Determined to mitigate the economic trauma of Covid-19 and minimize its impact on poverty, unemployment, insecurity and violence, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has launched an economic plan designed to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Nigeria has recorded 208,154 cases of infection and 2,756 deaths as of October 13, 2021. The economic impact was devastating. Economic growth turned negative in 2020, unemployment and poverty rates rose and companies went out of business, writes Stephen Onyeiwu for the conversation.
Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Nigerian economy faced an ongoing crisis for years, with inflation reaching a four-year high by February 2021. With flat economic growth and rising inflation, Nigeria risks falling into what economists call “stagflation”. Stagflation is a deadly combination of high unemployment and inflation rates. Rising food prices and a sharp devaluation of the Nigerian currency are the main causes of inflation in Nigeria. The coronavirus pandemic, which broke out in 2020, depressed the country’s oil revenues and resulted in company closings and the layoff of employees.
Nigeria has yet to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and the collapse in the price of oil, a commodity on which the country’s economy rests. The World Bank estimates 11 million Nigerians will be pushed into poverty by 2022, in addition to the 100 million (out of 200 million people in the country) who are already considered poor.