The first confirmed cases of COVID-19 were first reported by officials in Wuhan City, China, in December 2019. A thorough investigation by the Chinese authorities responsible for infection disease control came to realization of the early symptoms of of the SARS-CoV-2 on human in early December 2019. While a number of the earliest known cases had a link to a wholesale foodstuff in Wuhan, some didn't. Many of the initial patients were stall owners, market employees, or regular visitors to the present market.
The source of first covid 19 case was traced to travel history of some Nigeria that returned from the US, Italy and some of the countries with high rate of covid19 infection. The covid 19 pandemic affected the private sector more than any other sector in Nigeria. There are still limited research materials on covid19 pandemic and the performance of the private sector in Nigeria. Before we go on lets first of discuss the circumstances surrounding the performance of private sector.
Private Sector Performance
The private sector is the segment of a national economy that is owned, controlled, and managed by private individuals or enterprises. A private sector organization is created by forming a new enterprise or privatizing a public sector organization. A large private sector corporation may be privately or publicly traded.
The private sector in Nigeria has been dogged by weaknesses inherent in its skewed structure, indicated by a few multinational companies that are heavily import-dependent. They mostly operate as enclaves and a large segment of essentially, informal sector, small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) with very little, if any linkage to the huge multinationals and a rent seeking and unproductive culture of over-dependence on government patronage and contracts. Nigeria, though embarked on a periodic development planning exercise as early as the 1960s, failed to realize the importance of private sector and market oriented policy in the process of overall development of the nation till the late 1980s and this resulted to several economic distortions. However, a distinct departure took place in the overall development policy and strategies in the country, particularly after the adoption of the Structural Adjustment Program ((SAP) in the mid-80s and the subsequent deregulation and liberalization of the economy. Consequently under the new policy paradigm, a liberal policy anticipating greater role of private initiatives in the economy has been in place replacing the controlled economic policies practiced under the Mixed Economic Approach (MEA). The private sector did not live up to expectations, despite the then favourable environment. During structural adjustment, the private sector was supposed to serve as an engine of growth. Rather sadly, after years of structural adjustment measures the private sector was not able to respond adequately to the desire for increased production, employment and stable prices. The share of manufacturing industries in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was still low, while capacity utilization was a little above 30 percent (Iwara, 2007).
Covid19 And Total Lockdown
The quest to flatten the curve of covid19 was what leads to the implementation of total lockdown in Nigeria. The total lockdown started in the month of March 2020; since then there have been gradual processes to the ease of lockdown in Nigeria. The total lockdown help control the spread of the corona virus diseases in Nigeria.
Sales Volume Before And After Covid19
Before the covid 19 pandemic, the private sector is one of the greatest contributors to the Nigeria economy because of the sales volume. But during the covid19 lockdown the sales volume of most businesses under the private sector are not really making much the way they use to make before and this has affected their contribution to the Nigeria economy.
The sales of businesses under the private sector has not really being on the increase since the outbreak of the covid19 pandemic and the workers are at the receiving end of it; ranging from retrenchment to delay in workers’ salaries. Most employees with the private sectors lost their jobs as a result of the covid 19 pandemic especially those in the education sector in Nigeria.
Few worker and service delivery time
The main aim of every organization is to improve the level of job/service delivery time so as to improve customers’ satisfaction and loyalty but the covid 19 pandemic has set these goals to zero. Most organization under the private sector has limited number of employees and the workload is still the same; this made the delivery time of service less satisfactory. There level of stress and burnout has increased and might lead to employees turnover. The workload on an employee is much and the level of motivation is quiet poor. The continuous delay in the delivery time of a particular service might lead customers away from such organizations.
In conclusion the covid19 pandemic has caused a lot of instability in the Nigeria economy especially the private sector. The effect is seen in the level of bankruptcy among businesses. The rate of unemployment has increased since the outbreak of the pandemic and the contribution of the private sector the Nigeria economy has reduced significantly.