Osun State Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery: Practical Solutions to Transit from Pandemic to Prosperity

Osun State Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery: Practical Solutions to Transit from Pandemic to Prosperity

Osun State Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery: Practical Solutions to Transit from Pandemic to Prosperity
With the gaining of independence in October 1960, Nigeria became a member of the World Health Organization, and upon becoming a Republic in 1963, she became a full member of the United Nations Organization. From one central and three regional governments at independence, the country has grown to one central government, thirty-six (36) state governments and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, and seven hundred and seventy-four (774) local governments, with the three tiers having concomitant and concurrent constitutional responsibilities for the provision of health care services. The three tiers also fragmented health services into primary, secondary and tertiary levels of services/providers. The distribution of service providers and facilities were uneven and the responsibilities were operated within a policy framework that were not clearly articulated and defined. This created staid gaps in the system. In order to ensure a reasonable measure of intra- and inter-sectional cohesion in the different sectors, the National Council on Health (NCH) was established.The modern State of Osun was created in August 27, 1991 from part of the old Oyo State. The state's name is derived from the River Osun, the venerated natural spring that is the manifestation of the Yoruba goddess of the same name.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province, and has since spread globally, resulting in the ongoing 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. The first confirmed case of what was then an unknown coronavirus was traced back to November 2019 in Hubei province. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.Other symptoms may include fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhoea, sore throat, loss of smell, and abdominal pain. The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is typically around five days but may range from two to fourteen days While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some progress to viral pneumonia and multi-organ failure. The virus is primarily spread between people during close contact, often via small droplets produced by coughing, or sneezing, or talking. While these droplets are produced when breathing out, they usually fall to the ground or onto surfaces rather than remain in the air over long distances. People may also become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. The virus can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours. It is most contagious during the first three days after the onset of symptoms, although spread may be possible before symptoms appear and in later stages of the disease.
The outcome of national lockdowns is obvious: If none of us can go to work, economic activity stops. We are facing one of the largest economic shocks of the last 100 years. This is not a normal shock. This is the fastest GDP fall ever. The virus has also hit society like a global tsunami, disrupting travel, cutting off communities, shuttering factories and shaking up economic markets. The global manufacturing sector has suffered its worst contraction since the 2009 recession.
Among the most enduring and damaging impacts of Nigeria’s oil and gas resource curse has been the long, steady decline of the country’s agricultural sector. This is the pathway to follow as for example the global world switch towards electric cars fueled by batteries which will represent a USD 300 billion a year industry by 2050 with about 160 million vehicles to be produced. Africa produces more than 70% of total cobalt used globally to produce the batteries for electric cars engines – the lynchpin of electric cars, so why don’t our rich capital owners take on this sector headlong.
Once the primary source of government revenue and foreign exchange earnings, agriculture in Nigeria has suffered from decades of underinvestment, corruption, policy neglect, and lost opportunity. Today, despite its vast agricultural potential, the country is a net food importer of food, with the vast majority of people engaged in agriculture operating at subsistence level.
As the world population continues to grow, much more effort and innovation will be urgently needed in order to sustainably increase agricultural production, improve the global supply chain, decrease food losses and waste, and ensure that all who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition have access to nutritious food. Extreme poverty and hunger are predominantly rural, with smallholder farmers and their families making up a very significant proportion of the poor and hungry. Thus, eradicating poverty and hunger are integrally linked to boosting food production, agricultural productivity and rural incomes. Agriculture systems worldwide must become more productive and less wasteful.
Sustainable agricultural practices and food systems, including both production and consumption, must be pursued from a holistic and integrated perspective. Land, healthy soils, water and plant genetic resources are key inputs into food production, and their growing scarcity in many parts of the world makes it imperative to use and manage them sustainably. Boosting yields on existing agricultural lands, including restoration of degraded lands, through sustainable agricultural practices would also relieve pressure to clear forests for agricultural production. Wise management of scarce water through improved irrigation and storage technologies, combined with development of new drought-resistant crop varieties, can contribute to sustaining drylands productivity.
However, there is also recognition that scientific understanding of the drivers of desertification, land degradation and drought is still evolving. There are many elements of traditional farmer knowledge that, enriched by the latest scientific knowledge, can support productive food systems through sound and sustainable soil, land, water, nutrient and pest management, and the more extensive use of organic fertilizers. An increase in integrated decision-making processes at national and regional levels are needed to achieve synergies and adequately address trade-offs among agriculture, water, energy, land and climate change. Given expected changes in temperatures, precipitation and pests associated with climate change, the global community is called upon to increase investment in research, development and demonstration of technologies to improve the sustainability of food systems everywhere. Building resilience of local food systems will be critical to averting large-scale future shortages and to ensuring food security and good nutrition for all.
In the twenty-first century economy, organizations and governmental institutions depend on knowledge to strategically achieve corporate and governance objectives. Knowledge, as the foundation of an institution/organization’s competitive advantage, its exploitation and commercialization, drives organization’s value. In other to achieve this, it is imperative that the process of knowledge exploitation and commercialization needs to be continuously monitored and assessed. In addition, there is a need to consistently benchmark against set targets and goals so as to track progress. The development and integration of scientific evidence like STI indicators makes this possible. More importantly, it will assist in the formulation of an efficient STI policy for economic growth and sustainable national development. It is the realization of this that made Nigeria to deploy, to a greater effect, STI indicators to re-shape the content, quality and even structure of the new STI policy. Future expectations are that it will have similar impact on other key sectoral policies like education, agriculture, health, energy and environment, ICT, trade and investment, SMEs and the overall economic and development programmes of government. There is also the need to embark on strategic popularization, sensitization and advocacy among stakeholders in government and the private sector.
What if the myriad of huge business and capital owners in Africa copied the example of Aliko Dangote who did not wait for the environment to be perfect before taking on giants in the manufacturing and sale of cement. That is the vicious circle of dependence the sale of raw materials, we are trying to beat by looking forward to a virtuous circle of structural transformation underpinned by economic diversification and industrialization. Governments must therefore step-in to create the enabling environment for these changes to happen, notably by instituting local content policies such as rules that localize procurement which in several cases represent 60% or the total operational cost of large companies operating on the continent. Governments should also facilitate the participation of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in local and regional value chains by dismounting tariff and non-tariff barriers, especially on the eve of the go-live phase of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) regime. But the conversation is one in which the private sector must steer the driver’s seat, they advised. What governments should avoid is trying to boost their economies in the wake of one global health crisis by exacerbating another namely air pollution. A stimulus package that includes ramping up fossil fuel  production or use would do exactly this.