Nigeria should avoid another COVID-19 lockdown in 2021
Nigerians should do all to avoid another round of lockdown in 2021 that could impact more adversely on the economy, Chief Jude Emecheta, the Managing Director, Anambra Signage and Advertising Agency (ANSAA) has said.
Emecheta said in Awka on Sunday that ANSAA could only realise 15 per cent of its revenue projection of N1 billion in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and EndSARS protest.
He said that the agency could not enforce revenue collection or prosecute defaulters because businesses and government institutions could not operate for about six months.
According to him, the pandemic had serious negative impact on the ANSAA component of Anambra revenue projections in 2020.
“For six months we did not step into the field to work; you know normally people don’t want to pay, so we need to go and remind them, if possible force them to pay.
“When we wanted to go out the young boys came with EndSARS and after one month of the protest, the Police which provide protection for citizens did not work for another one month. In all we lost eight of the 12 months in the year.
“Government also announced reliefs for Nigerians including tax and levy holiday for businesses, so for ANSAA it was a serious revenue shock, we fell far short of our projections.
“We targeted one billion naira, but I am afraid if we actually made N100 million,” he said.
Emecheta said the economic recovery path of Nigeria should not be interrupted with another lockdown, adding that this could eventually lead to long term recession.
He said that the authorities should view the COVID-19 era as a reality and brace up for effective management of the pandemic while keeping the economy running.
“My honest view is that there should be no lockdown in 2021, people should be allowed to go about their normal businesses and anybody who falls sick of COVID-19 should go to hospital and be treated like every other patient.
“They should leave the economy open. With more lockdown, people would not be able to pay for COVID-19 treatment. Those who are sound in the family should go and fend for those who are down,” the signage agency’s boss said.