Flourishing in a post Covid society: The case of Nigeria, by Ihuoma Joy. O


Often times, wars, famine, disasters and pandemics accelerate pre-existed trends and permanently change societies. It is no longer a hidden fact that the economy of the nation came to a gridlock with the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, thus bringing the country to a temporary halt and bruising the economy. However, while the attention of most nation of the world focuses on developing a vaccine, paying rapt attention on the recovery efforts, to ensure that the society bounces back, in virtually all aspects is equally imperative.

Aside its impact on the country, the shock of the pandemic also had a bang on the overall wellbeing of lives and livelihoods in the society. Therefore, the role leaders in channeling the anxieties and doing something helpful for the future of the country becomes imperative as it is the right time to choose a new cap to wear. Acting as a wakeup call for the country to emerge on the other side of the crisis, new ideas and technologies, which will eventually alter our rituals and status quo for years and decades to come ought to be developed; thus, calling for the need to search for solutions at a time when the world is spinning out of control.

Particularly, the country need to connect the dots between the different facets of life that are in jeopardy because of the pandemic and further lift livelihoods across boards to a new set of equitable standards. Even more, the revitalization of the country, especially with the way they carry out their activities is expedient since the pandemic has reset the button associated with “the norms of life” hence, nations have to operate differently, keeping in view, how the economy can be better developed, resulting to the neologism, a “new normal thought development initiative” which will be dependent on the evolution and development of human thought and may eventually result to a shift in policies.

Therefore, as societies grapple with social adjustments especially as it concerns how the economy can survive, how long the pandemic would last are important questions that should draw much attention among policy makers in Nigeria. Interestingly, the difficulties in the COVID 19 era have opened valuable opportunities to address the deep rooted fundamental weakness with a bold reform agenda. hence, all hands must be on deck. The question then becomes; to what kind of society do we want to return-and is government providing leadership and willing to take the nation to that future?

Firstly, flourishing in a post covid society requires a strong and functioning institution where technology will be embraced in the smooth running of various institutions. For instance, in the education sector, all levels of education in Nigeria can benefit from the advancement of technological resources available today as they will be able to establish themselves in the international market. Particularly, Nigerian Universities (government owned) and public schools ought to start harnessing technology in the classrooms via deploying smart phones and laptops. Technology is changing lives hence; Nigerian students may do better if they have access to it.

Moreover, many countries are trying to avoid the gathering large crowds hence; the introduction of home schooling. Though, financially off families may find it a bit difficult hence the need to also utilize the mainstream broadcast media particularly the Television and the radio. This calls for rigorous training and retraining of both the teachers and learners in the use of digital technologies and applications especially for vulnerable children, and further improving financing of digital learning. A time of crisis is also an opportunity for the education systems to look into the future, adjust possible threats and build their capacity.

Again, in order to face the challenges ahead confidently in a post covid society, training and retraining on how civil servants can work from home and improve their ICT skills is imperative; if the capacity of the civil servants is yet to be developed, less would be achieved hence, the need for targeted capacity building on ways and methods through which technology can be utilized effectively. This can further help to boost co-operation and collaboration between Nigeria and other nations of the world. Becoming a smart country requires the digitalization goal of adopting the digital means of processing data hence, the need to invest more in acquiring digital skills.

In fact, this is imperative because any sector that is yet to go online in the 21st century may collapse in the near future hence the need for capacity building solutions.

Aside the afore-stated, the country needs to encourage people to work with their hands via encouraging entrepreneurial skills as it remains the most viable way which entrepreneurial culture be triggered. Our hands are weapons that could be used to combat the ugly trend of poverty that is inherent in the country which resulted to many families having it tough during the pandemic lockdown. Particularly, entrepreneurship promotion in Nigeria is mostly done through financial support; though a laudable effort but more is required in the non-financial aspect by creating more skill acquisition centers for people to be trained in various skills which can help the country as well as individuals, stand firm in the post covid world.

However, inadequate institutional support for rapid promotion of entrepreneurial development is still a bane coupled with inadequate entrepreneurship encouragement programmes. To this end, more Nigerians need to consider self-determination as an alternative to paid jobs even though lack of willingness (to take risks) still remains a problem among Nigerians hence, the need for targeted entrepreneurship education programmes. This is because when countries become prosperous, their ability to withstand and bounce back is significantly strengthened; therefore, people ought to be encouraged to work with their hands because if the nation loses that, they lose everything.

Again, a strong and accountable government which will ensure food and housing security for the populace is imperative for the survival of future mayhems. In fact, a society in which only a few can afford food and housing is not a sustainable one as everyone deserves a safe place to live and further access good food especially in times of need. Being able to get food and housing translates to increased productivity which subsequently causes the growth of the economy as food and housing security equals to a strong nation. Though threatened by unrest especially in the northern part, there is the need to introduce and co-ordinate polices that can help combat these thus, education plays a particularly important role in determining how resources are utilized to secure these for the populace. Having unrestricted access to sufficient safe and nutritious food to achieve an active health life as well as an affordable housing is equally imperative.

Though, the progress towards recovery may be slow and painstaking but in the long run, it will be worth it if everyone co-operates. As we try to move past this era, there is a tremendous demand for a change as all, different organs of society needs to work together to build a resilient nation that will not be shaken by any epidemic. The new mantra, “we all in this together” invariably suggests that everyone has a role to play in advancing the nation in the post covid world as the measures to be deployed requires the assistance of all and sundry. Life during this pandemic requires intense and rigorous discussions; therefore, a number of these should be put in place to help further sustain the country in any the case of any future occurrence.

As a nation, we may not be able to prevent future pandemics but we can work to ensure that nation is prosperous enough to respond adequately.

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