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2021 Socio-Economic Outlook: Covid fatigue and moving past stage one


If you are wondering what Stage One means, it’s Tayo Fagbule’s (Editor of BusinessDay) description of how government tends to focus on responding to the immediate outcomes of an event and not the broader and longer term effect of such events – case in point being the approach to the Covid-19 pandemic.

2020 clearly did not mark the sharp end of Covid-19 pandemic as a vast majority had hoped and speculated; in fact, what the beginning of 2021 has done thus far is to highlight the degree of volatility and uncertainty that exists world-wide. The obvious challenge any leader and even individual is faced with, is how to plan in the face of such uncertainty and volatility. However, try we must, given lessons from the past and the openness to lean, unlearn and relearn to better adapt.

It was indeed enlightening to have Tayo join me in conversation last week to share his perspectives on the socio-economic outlook for Nigeria following the pandemic and other economic challenges.

Tayo started with sharing that a review of BusinessDay readers and what they gravitated towards in 2020 revealed that people were concerned about staying alive and expectations about government’s response to the pandemic, the recession, travel etc. Conversely, so far in 2021, the concerns seem to have shifted, as it would appear that people seem to have wrapped their heads around Covid and now have what he referred to as “Covid fatigue”. People just want to move on regardless and identify opportunities to live and thrive.

People are tired of the bad news and just want to know where the opportunities are and move on really. Tayo Fagbule

In looking ahead and what we should be doing as a society, below are some of Tayo’s recommendations while we wait for Covid-19 to be over:

• Self-develop: Less brawn more brain, and as we are social distancing and more activities are taking place online, it’s a good time to upskill in that area.

• Light manufacturing: There are things we relied on imports for that we can exploreproducing locally, and while there are infrastructural gaps – such activities will necessitate the development of required infrastructure eventually.

• DIY Industry: This is another huge opportunity we should explore. Nigerians currently tend to provide for themselves what government should be doing, as such there’s an opprtunity to teach how to DIY to more people.

In light of Covid, Tayo suggests that the focus should be on providing infrastructure for vaccines such as primary health care centresand storage facilities for the vaccines. In terms of an ultimate recommendation to Government, Tayo is of the opinion that once the Education system is fixed all other things will tend to fall into place as it essentially translates to development of our human capital, which is one of our major assets.

My conversation with Tayo left me with one big question – When and How do we move as a country from, Stage One to the stages that will promote sustainability and close the social development gaps?

To listen to my full conversation with Tayo Fagbule as he shared his interesting perspectives, please visit www.socialconscience.africa to listen to the podcast.

Yours conscientiously,

‘Nasa

Tayo Fagbule – Editor, BusinessDay



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