Greetings of blessings as we bring you update Reflections and Meditations from last week till today. We appreciate all your wishes and comments. Your concerns and questions help us to research more and to that we are grateful.
Again some of you are still expressing fear and anxiety , please NO that is not the intention of this weekly reflections rather we expect you to adjust your own way of lifestyle. That’s the whole essence. As for overcoming, we MUST surely overcome. Fear should not have a place in all of these. We will not be cowed in by your unwarranted fear rather we will continue to present you with statistical realities and objectives obvious solutions as documented in the Bible. Last time we did remind you that every Profession is taking from the Bible and every economy is rooted in the Bible, hence Bible has divine solution to Global economic crises including the economic terrorism occasioned by Covid-19 Pandemic. Biblical principles of handling economic crisis have been proved powerful and providential over time.
To continue to stir the stormy economic situation in the world as a result of Coronavirus, we need to have a comprehensive understanding and approach of THE ECONOMICOLOGY OF STABILITY: ISSUING CONSEQUENCES OF COVID-19 AFTERMATH ESPECIALLY IN NIGERIA. Some Bible passages are important here : ” Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever “(Psalm 125:1). This promise is not for everyone of us rather THOSE WHO TRUST…CANNOT BE SHAKEN. ” As the Mountains surround Jerusalem, So the LORD surrounds his People both now and forevermore “(Psalm 125:2). The assurance is for HIS PEOPLE not everybody. ” Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stands guard in vain “(Psalm 127:1).
The scripture emphasizes that it’s the Lord who provides shelter, security and sustenance but not a reason for you to fold your hands, idling away. You MUST take responsibility for your creation. We will continue to bring these scriptures in perspective as we take our collective trip into this week reflections and meditations. Life is full of constant upheaval and there are lots of unpredictable occurrences. When they happen it’s expected to shake the very foundations we placed our trust and loyalty and those things include our Ego, Authority, Power source, Control point, and Belief system.
The usual consequent effect is our returning to our creator. This is what the whole world is doing now both those who believed and those who thought it not necessary. After this, another one will come if CHRIST tarries. We must be kept in perspective all the time for there is an OWNER of this world. If you have been following up with what is happening in the world you will critically observe that a lot have happened, at the end of April over 20.5 million people have lost their jobs in USA; 3 million Canadians people are jobless; Femi Adesina advised us to avoid the road to Venezuela if we are not there already; Nigeria spent over #22.8 trillion buying food in 2019 as reported by NBS sure you know the implications; 17 airports (not airlines ) not viable, may shut down over loses, hope you know the expected implications; Manufacturers seek Lifeline to remain in business. Say more firms will go under, job losses inevitable meaning increase in unemployment profile; Atiku urges FG to liberalise downstream without fixing oil prices; FAAC disbures #1.95trillion to FG, States and LGAs in Q1 which is the highest for 6years now, just hope the same happens Q2; Saudi Arabia jacks up vat 200% your guess is as good as mine; Afrinvest floats $2 million dollar fund to help investors diversify portfolio; Cost of fund may decline as #330billion boost interbank liquidity; stock market losses #49billion on profit taking hope you understand its effects; UK economy shrinks on Covid-19; the collapse in oil prices – the main international benchmark has fallen by half since the starting of the year- is leading some producers to shut down wells and the cartel now expects non-OPEC production to decline by 3.5 million barrels per day this year.
It believes the worst drop in demand will be recorded in the current April-June quarter; OPEC expects daily demand in 2020 to drop by some 8.5 million barrels per day from last year’s level, which is a roughly 8.5 percent drop hope you are still following; FG cut 2020 budget to #10.523 Trillion; we are worried as FG lockdown all the schools and still spend #679 million daily on feeding schoolchildren; NNPC records #211.62 billion from products sales in February 2020, you can boldly agree with us that it cannot be the same in the coming months due to lockdown, hence possible decline in sales is inevitable and the part of economy financed from the proceeds will suffer shortfalls.
(1) The economy of Nigeria is a middle- income, Mixed economy and emerging markets with a major source of foreign exchange earnings for Nigeria as remittances sent home by Nigerians living abroad.
(2) The oil sector provides for 95% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and 80% of its budgetary revenue.
(3) As global crude oil prices plummet in the midst of the global oil supply glut arising from lockdown of economic activities in many countries of the world, all tiers of government will struggle to fund their 2020 budgets and this will automatically affect every other functioning components of the economy. It will affect churches, families, companies and organisations.
(4) Investors prefer Egypt to Nigeria amid coronavirus pandemic, and the reason is that Egypt has continued to distinguish herself from Nigeria in the eyes of foreign investors for reasons, ranging from foreign exchange liquidity to higher economic growth rate and lower inflation.
(5)FG has taken some drastic and proactive measures which include the approval to withdraw 150 million dollars from the stabilisation fund to supplement FAAC DISBURSEMENTS. What a decision!.
(6) Investors lose #133billion as market closes negative.
(7) OPEC sees a rebalancing in oil market which is expected to happen when OPEC and its allies agreed on major cuts in production by 9.7 million barrels per day.
(8) Most people who were affected by USA and Canada Covid-19 pandemic employment are non professionals which is majorly Africans and bulk maybe Nigerians and if this is true your guess is needed.
What to do in the circumstance: It was Henry Ford in the witness box, during his libel suit against the Chicago Tribune in July 1919, who declared ” History is BUNK”. Someone else once suggested that ” The most account chart of the meaning of history is the set of tracks made by a drunken fly with feet wet with ink, staggering across a piece of white paper. They lead nowhere and reflect no pattern of meaning “. Similarly, Rudolf Bultmann wrote that ” the question of meaning in history has become meaningless”.
But Christians who look to the Scripture as their authority profoundly disagree with these gloomy assessments. For the God of the Bible is the God of history. He has entitled Himself, ” The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”. History is not a random series of meaningless events; it’s rather a succession of periods and happenings which are usually under the sovereign rule of God, who is the God of history. Coronavirus pandemic is of this kind that has been enmeshed in human history. Hence stability is a cherished and coveted quality in every sphere of human life. Government talks about stabilizing the economy; Builders endeavour to construct stable houses and Carpenters stable furniture. Aircrafts and Ships have stabilizers to counteract turbulence and the ocean swells. JESUS exhorted us in various places in the Bible to be firm.
We were admonished not to be ‘ like reeds shaken by the wind, but rather be rock-like and immovable. The winds which threaten our stability, and against which we are to take our stand include: the fear generated by Covid-19, opposition or persecution, false alarmists, proponents of social media panic, tension builders, business propagandists and merchandists of colour complex and catastrophic economic uncertainty. Few things to concentrate on in the next few lines include:
(1) Laziness should be vehemently opposed and should not have a place of encouragement among and around you. Laziness is very dangerous and needs to be fought against in the church. There are lots of people in the church doing nothing but going from house to house disturbing members with very sympathetic stories. Laziness is a battle all of us need to fight if we want the church to assume its rightful position. It’s a cancerous plague worse than Covid-19 pandemic and feeds the body with a spirit that does not encourage taking initiative. It creates weakness in creativity, efficiency and capacity. The Bible condemns it in totality, ” Diligent hands will rule, but Laziness ends in slave labour “(Proverbs 12:24). Lazy people work for the Diligent. The poor man needs to be supported while the lazy man needs to be helped out of his Laziness. John Henry Newman warned of the consequences of Laziness when he stated, ” A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault “. The lazy man’s excuses, ” I want to be thorough, or I want to take my time to do it, or I know what I am doing, or I am a meticulous person or you know I want to come out superb or I am on top of it”. Winkie Pratney said, ” Many say they cannot get God’s guidance when they really mean they wish He would show them an easier way”. Post Covid-19 doesn’t need Lazy people who will prefer hanging on other people to working hard. There will be no room for such luxury anymore. Put your hands to work.
(2) Savings is of utmost importance in Post Covid-19. Usually many people believe that you don’t need to save when you have needs unattended. Well this is very wrong philosophy. You must decipher between needs and wants. Don’t encumbered yourself with wants rather with needful needs. Income without savings is futile and baseless. Various nations of the world have portions of their earnings as savings to sustain them during economic recession or crisis like we are experiencing now. This is the only reason why America, Germany etc. can lockdown for three to four months without their citizens clapping to the streets to be released. UK government lockdown almost a month before our lockdown and each family is attended to with daily food requirements, but Nigeria cannot try that. That’s the only reason why the lockdown was relaxed. Nigeria government cannot feed Nigerians for 7days without crashing the system. Savings is of vital importance in any organisation or business or family or future. Savings is not just a recommendation or choice, instead, it’s a commandment of Almighty God to the family, ” A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous “(Proverbs 13:22). Savings is also for the purposes of emergencies. There are emergencies all over the world and in various households and churches. Savings must be a planned and prioritised agenda in anyone’s life, not an option or legislation to be considered after other expenses would have taken place. Savings should be number one expected expense before any other.
(3) Savings is income not spent, deferred consumption or procrastinated expenditure. Mostly, it’s put in a deposit account form, pension account, investment fund, collectibles, drafts, equities, money markets, bonds or cash. It’s deliberate reduction of expenditures.
(4) You must struggle to get out of the strong man power maintenance. Without the poor, there will be no Richman. The poor man is the rich man’s raw material. Hence if we minimize our comfort, consumption patterns, fashion lifestyles, appetite moderation and decline in flamboyant approach to life we will actually stop the big man who sees us as source of money making. They provide the things and we patronize them. We can honestly stop the Richman by deliberate abscondment.
Honestly, this write up is becoming too lengthy, we beg to stop here for this week and to continue from here next week. We will be looking at the importance of savings, where to invest and possibly budgeting.
Let us pray:
Heavenly father, we thank you sufficiently with our life and being. We appreciate you for your kindness towards us especially during this pandemic era, we thank you for protecting all the frontline workers the Doctors, nurses, physicians, pharmacists and all health experts who have put their lives on line for the safety of others. Please Lord protect them and their families. We ask you to make all of us celebrators and overcomers of defeated coronavirus pandemic in the name of JESUS CHRIST our Lord and saviour. AMEN. Joy cometh. Stay away and safe. His BONDSERVANT Chidi.