Assessing Legislative Response to Covid-19 in Nigeria

The world is experiencing one of the worst pandemics in human history. The novel Coronavirus is wreaking havoc on all facets of human existence, and nation-states are mobilizing diverse resources to provide medical, political, economic, and legal solutions. In Nigeria, the government’s response thus far has focused on
containing the health crisis through the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), testing, and treatment. The government has also sought to mitigate the harsh economic and social consequences through the provision of economic stimulus and palliatives, as well as strategizing for accelerated economic
recovery. Over 1000 cases and 40 fatalities have been recorded across 32 states in Nigeria thus far. 1This presents a gloomy outlook for governance and development. Economic hardship represents a significant concern, as the country grapples with the effects of the pandemic with an economy that was very weak and vulnerable before the crisis. Prior to the detection of the index case,2 Nigeria’s economy was heading into a  recession triggered by the falling prices of crude oil in the global market. In March, oil prices plummeted to $25 per barrel3 due to a decline in global oil consumption caused by travel restrictions and lockdowns imposed by various governments as measures to contain the transmission of COVID-19. With this significant impact on the nation’s revenue, the government is compelled to review the 2020 Appropriation, as the current crude prices are below the estimated benchmark of $57 per barrel at the time of the bill passage.