Decision-makers in Nigeria at federal and state level have been confronted by increasingly complex challenges and stark choices as the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic combined with the oil price crash in 2020, the main source of government revenue.
Significant pressure on budgets and livelihoods pushed Nigeria into its second recession since 2016, but this time far more severe. The second wave of COVID-19 has seen a recent increase in cases, threatening lives and the country’s fragile health system.
Through lockdown measures, stimulus packages, cash transfers, and food assistance, government has sought to lessen the worst impacts of the pandemic – but a lack of both financing and coordination across 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Abuja complicate the response.
Some state governors took their own early response measures, imposing state-level lockdowns and in some cases even moving to close state borders. More recently, and with the arrival of the second wave, focus has been on how state governments can bolster their health systems and provide more treatment centres.
Financing and support programmes are being provided, such as the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (CoPREP), through which the federal government is deploying World Bank grants to the states and the FCT as immediate support, with conditionalities linked to coordination with the overarching federal strategy to combat the virus.
Looking longer-term, the governor outlines how state governments can plan for and take steps towards implementation of policies to ensure lasting state-level recovery that will begin to address wider and long-standing socioeconomic, governance and security challenges across Nigeria.
This event was broadcast live on the Chatham House Africa Programme’s Facebook page.
HE Dr Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, Nigeria; Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum
Chair: Elizabeth Donnelly, Deputy Director and Research Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House