FDC BI-MONTHLY ECONOMIC & BUSINESS UPDATE – APRIL 22, 2020 (Re: From Covid C-19 to 419: The mother of all viruses)

Dear Subscriber,

After corona, there will be no wahala

My illiterate uncle in Ubeji, Warri South Local government, asked me on the phone yesterday, the difference between 419 and covid-19. I hesitated before responding and said to him in Itsekiri dialect- why the question and what is the link? His response was as intriguing as the question. He said he was around during the influenza flu of the 1950s and he was fully briefed by our great grandfather about the 1918 flu. He said that whilst the devastation was probably more in the past, the noise this time and the coordinated lockdown are unprecedented. He said at age 95 he was not in the mood to be fooled by any Government, leader or relative. He said that illicit gin and roots are the antidote to this virus, flus and most ailments. He therefore said to me “send me a carton of Bols Schnapps or Chelsea gin with some lemon” and he can assure me that he will be here even after the postponed Olympic Games next year. The story continues…

What will the world in 2021 look like?

This is what most economists are scratching their heads about. Analysts, investors, consumers and politicians have become bored, fatigued, sick and tired about this pandemic discussion. The assumption of a moderate level of virus attack and a severe economic recession are safe assumptions of a starting point in 2021.

Compressed into the year 2021 will be all the sports, entertainment and cultural events of 2020 and 2021 combined. Therefore, 2021 will be 2 years in 1 and a “U-shaped” economic recovery at global and local levels.

For Nigeria, 2021 will be a year of economic recovery in the second half. It will also be a period of intense political jockeying in the race for 2023. Nigeria will be represented in the Olympics, African Cup of Nations and more than anything else be in the forefront of the AfCFTA. The naira will be priced along the real effective exchange rate path and new investments will flow into refining, telecommunications and the aviation sector.

In the publication, the FDC Think Tank shares its thoughts on the impact of the issues above on the Nigerian economy and likely policy decisions.

Do enjoy your read…