Business stakeholders in Akwa Ibom State have called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to make available an emergency liquidity in order to assuage the economic consequences of COVID-19 pandemic on businesses.
They added that such would keep the economy afloat and enable people to retain their jobs and incomes.
They made the call on Friday in Uyo, the State capital during a business summit tagged ”Leading In The Midst Of Uncertainty” which was organised by the founder of Community Stakeholders for Social Good (CSforSG) Manti Umoh.
Umoh in her speech explained that the provision of emergency liquidity became necessary to forestall economic collapse which could also have human, social and health consequences.
She added that poorly designed stimulus packages can have negative, long-lasting consequences on trade and welfare recalling the experience of 2008-09 economic crisis.
Her words, “The coronavirus pandemic has created massive uncertainty in our country and our state. The economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic call for urgent policy responses to keep the economy afloat and enable people to retain their jobs and incomes. Most of the measures envisaged at present are macroeconomic in nature, focusing largely on the provision of emergency liquidity by central banks.
“These measures all proceed from the urgent need to prevent a catastrophic economic collapse that would have dire human, social, and health consequences. While the trade impact of these measures may not be a prime concern of governments at present, experience from the crisis of 2008-09 suggests that poorly designed stimulus packages can have negative, long-lasting consequences for trade and welfare.
Also speaking, the member representing Etinan Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt.Hon. Onofiok Luke, urged leaders at all levels of government not to use the pandemic as a ruse for weakening Democratic institutions, fundamental rights and further excluding political participation.
He further urged leaders especially those in governments to meet people at the point of their needs by social inclusion such as provision of cash transfers, improved access to education and health care, State owned health insurance scheme as well as protection from food disruptions.
“Africa must step up. Our approach to leadership must change to put the welfare of our citizens first. It is time for the present crop of leaders in Africa to give way for the set that will take Africa to its preferred destination,” the lawmaker said.
He, however, regretted that governments had failed to invest in research and development as the research institutions in Nigeria have not been able to come up with vaccines for COVID-19.
However the keynote speaker, Udom Inoyo, stressed that leadership is germane to the success of a business adding that before any business survives amidst the COVID-19 economy, business leaders must among other things, ‘pull together a network of like-minded entrepreneurs forming a symbiotic ecosystem of local businesses; embrace technology and innovation to stay ahead of the competition and address anticipated future business challenges; maintain a high level of discipline and drive a culture of hard work and integrity.”
He, therefore, called for partnership between business owners and government in order to have a robust and vibrant economy.
Dignitaries who spoke at the event included, His Lordship, Justice Ifiok Ukana Rtd, Chairman, Judicial panel of Inquiry on Incidences of Police Brutality in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Martin Effiong the Branch Manager of First Bank, Udom Inoyo Esq. Advisor Toro Inoyo foundation, Mr. Harry Udoh Chairman Akwa Ibom Forum of CSO, Ubong Obot, Magnus Chukwuekezie, Elder Ndanti Ekuh SSA to governor Emmanuel on Research and Documentation among others.