Second Wave of COVID-19 Threatens Lagos Economy

Nigeria’s economic capital, Lagos State, might need to initiate additional control measures to control the spread of coronavirus, as the state, just in five days of the new year recorded over two thousand cases of the virus.

Lagos State, known for industrialization, has championed Nigeria’s economy with increasing capital investment, internally generated revenue, infrastructural and developmental growth. Being the most populated state in Nigeria, the state rakes in an annual GDP running into trillions.

However, the global coronavirus pandemic which suspended the world’s economic system including Nigeria placed the state first among 36 states with the highest number of cases recorded. As of January 5th, 2021, the state has recorded a total of 32,687cases, 250 deaths and 27,337 recovered patients. This accounts for about 35 percent of the total cases recorded in Nigeria.

Covid19 and Lagos Economy

At the upsurge of the virus in March 2020, President Muhammad Buhari, in a televised speech, ordered the lockdown Lagos, Ogun and Abuja after developing cases were found. The lockdown suspended all social gathering, economic activities and transportation. The effect of the lockdown dropped the state’s budget by 21 percent from N1 trillion to N920.5 billion. The state, after a gradual relaxation, restricted certain grade level officers from early resumption, segmented the operation in a market environment and enforced the use of face masks in all public gatherings.

However, the second wave of the virus raises fears for a fresh lockdown in the state as Lagosians fail to comply with the COVID-19 preventive measures.

The governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while appealing for compliance said, “There is an urgent need for us to be more circumspect in the way we live, interact and socialize with our friends and family. Many people are ignoring COVID-19 warnings and guidelines, thereby exposing themselves and others to the virus.

“This second wave comes with severe symptoms, and the higher number of positive cases we detect, the higher number of casualties we’re bound to record. We do not want this, but for this to be avoided, we must be intentional and cautious.

“We also do not want to go into another lockdown. It is important that you wear your masks, avoid crowded areas, wash or sanitize your hands regularly, and practice social distancing.

“2021 will only work for us if we take COVID19 seriously and follow the guidelines laid down by the Lagos State Ministry of Health.”

Kehinde Ogunyale

Reporting on the data-driven economy, and investigations.

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