The Nigerian State, Corruption and the Political Economy of Covid-19 Governance
The outbreak of the Covid -19 pandemic across the globe and the consequent responses continues to generate heated concerns. Relying on both secondary and primary sources of data, and employing the political economy framework, this study interrogates the apparent commercialization of Nigeria’s response to the Covid – 19 pandemic and its implication for nation building. This study argues that in spite of the threat posed by the Covid – 19, the commercializiation in its response via the falsification of figures amidst low numbers of persons tested, duplication of health care projects, out sourcing of Covid test centers, over dependency on foreign vaccines, scarcity of test kits and drugs, Covid – test racketeering, conflicting government reports and positions, violations and inability to enforce basic rules on the part of government officials, and the apparent non activity of the Covid -19 taskforce in some northern part of the country brings to bare the myth and reality of Covid -19 pandemic in Nigeria. These contending issues have been made worse with the consequent economic and political burden the country confronts in its response to the pandemic. Therefore, while not dismissing threats of the second wave of Covid – 19 pandemics, this study argues that the Nigerian government and supporting agencies needs to ensure transparency, moderate proactive and a high sense of uprightness in their fight against the spread and its attendant consequences. This should be followed by government’s support for locally produced vaccines and citizens involvement via communal enlightenment and respect for basic Covid – 19 rules to reduce the its impact.
Key Words: Commercialization, Covid -19 Pandemic, Government, Citizens