The study examined the economic impact of COVID 19 pandemic on Delta State University Staff. The study was aimed finding the difference in economic impact of COVID 19 on Delta State University staff, difference and non teaching staff and the economic strategies adopted by staff of Delta State University to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic. The study adopted the survey research design where a structured questionnaire was administered to 120 respondents who were randomly selected from the 2,213 staff population. The study concluded that there was significant economic impact of COVID 19 lockdown in negation position of the staff of Delta State University, Abraka. It was noted that the increase in the cost of commodities, household items, transportation, , increase in accommodation due to increase in building material were so much a Burden on the staff. The staff whose salaries were not increased in the period suffered so much to carry out some of their capital projects as they adopted strict management strategies from the home front to reduce unnecessary expenses which could affect their income. The government at all levels should develop a scheme for employee design to assist with soft financial assistance the way COVID 19 Payroll was designed for SMEs to cussion the effect of COVID 19, Strict measure should be adopted to salvage the economy as soon as possible where employees will be give loans for investment the way the Federal Government did to SMEs and the staff of DELSU should be considered in salary payment by paying salaries and allowances as when due because a spillover in this economic crisis will put much pressure on the staff and their financial freedom will not be guarantee.
3.2 Background to the Study
COVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise, economic activities were affected by COVID19 pandemic. The virus which started in Wuhan city of China, spread over the world and caused devastating death of human and later affected economic activities. Nations, especially Europe, America and Asia were worst hit. Consequently, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the shut down on economic activities and restricted movement of people within the country and outside the country. Nigeria recorded index case on 27th February, 2020 from Italian who returned from Milan on 24th. A month later, the federal government declared a total lockdown in other to control the spread of the virus which is transmitted from human to human. According to Sinterna (2020), the global outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic has spread world-wide, affecting almost all countries and territories.
The countries around the world cautioned the public to take responsive care, the public care strategies included hand washing, wearing face masks, physical distancing and avoiding mass gathering and assemblies. Lockdown and staying at home strategies have been put in place as the needed action to flatten the curve and control the transmission of the disease. According to Lawal and Nwegbu (2020), many countries instituted measure to mitigate the spread of the disease on 30th March, Nigerian government instituted a nationwide lockdown. It was pertinent to understand the pattern created by the lockdown. Restrictions of movements were not only affected but gathering of people in one location was rightly restricted as well.
Lawal and Nwegbu (2020), stated that the spread of the virus in Nigeria necessitated the nationwide lockdown that was declared by the federal government as a precautionary measure taken by countries of the world over. Nigeria took cognizance of the lockdown effectiveness when the third confirmed case, who was duly notified by contact tracing team, self-quarantined and later became symptomatic was cautiously isolated and success fury treated, thereby mitigating community transmission, Balcan, Colliza, Goncalves, Hu, Ramasco and Vespignani (2009) emphasized the virus is highly transmitted from human droplets. Initaitely, the transmission was through airtime network and traffic.
According to Ozili (2020), the COVID-19 pandemic affected the global economy in two ways. One, the spread of the virus encouraged social distancing which led to the shutdown of financial markets, corporate offices, businesses and events. Two, the rate at which the virus was spreading, and the heightened uncertainty about how bad the situation could get, led to flight to safety in consumption and investment among consumers and investors (Ozili and Arun, 2020). There was a general consensus among top economists that the coronavirus pandemic would plunge the world into a global recession.
Top IMF economists such as Gita Gopinath and Kristalina Georgieva stated that the COVID-19 pandemic would trigger a global recession. In financial markets, global stock markets erased about US$6 trillion in wealth in one week from 24th to 28th of February. The S&P 500 index also lost over $5 trillion in value in the same week in the US while the S&P 500’s largest 10 companies experienced a combined loss of over $1.4 trillion3 due to fear and uncertainty among investors about how the pandemic would affect firms’ profit (Ozili and Arun, 2020). The travel restriction imposed on the movement of people in many countries led to massive losses for businesses in the events industry, aviation industry, entertainment industry, hospitality industry and the sports industry. The combined loss globally was estimated to be over $4 trillion.
Ozili (2020), stated that there are five main ways through which the COVID-19 pandemic spilled over into Nigeria. One, the COVID-19 pandemic affected borrowers’ capacity to service their loans, which gave rise to non-performing loans (NPLs) that depressed banks’ earnings and eventually impaired banks’ soundness and stability. Subsequently, banks were reluctant to give additional loans to borrowers as more and more borrowers struggled to repay the loans granted to them during the COVID-19 outbreak.
There were oil demand shocks which was reflected in the sharp decline in oil price. The most visible and immediate spillover was the drop in the price of crude oil, which dropped from nearly US$60 per barrel to as low as US$30 per barrel in March. During the pandemic, people were no longer travelling and this led to a sustained fall in the demand for aviation fuel and automobile fuel which affected Nigeria’s net oil revenue, and eventually affected Nigeria’s foreign reserve, (Ozili, 2020),.
There were supply shocks in the global supply chain as many importers shut down their factories and closed their borders particularly China. Nigeria was severely affected because Nigeria is an import-dependent country, and as a result, Nigeria witnessed shortage of crucial supplies like pharmaceutical supplies, spare parts, and finished goods from China. The national budget was also affected. The budget was initially planned with an oil price of US$57 per barrel. The fall in oil price to US$30 per barrel during the pandemic meant that the budget became obsolete and a new budget had to be formed which had to be repriced with at low oil price. Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic affected the Nigerian stock market. Major market indices in the stock market plunged when investors pulled out their investments into so-called safe havens like US Treasury bonds. Stock market investors lost over NGN2.3 trillion (US$5.9bn) barely three weeks after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed and announced in Nigeria on January 28, 2020. The market capitalisation of listed equities, which was valued at NGN13.657 trillion (US$35.2bn) on Friday, February 28, 2020 depreciated by NGN2.349 trillion to NGN11.308 trillion (US$29.1bn) on Monday 23 March 2020.
The restriction of movement affected the transportation of goods from the point of production to the market. According to Kwan, Edeh, Oboh, Pauw and Thurlow (2020), the restrictions directly reduce economic output and household incomes for a large share of the residents who are unable to work and earn an income. Consumer demand is also curtailed directly through measures that prevent consumers from spending money on non-essential goods and services. The policies allowed farms, food and drug manufacturers, and food distributors to continue their activities. Other services considered essential, and therefore exempt, included fuel stations, private security companies, and limited financial services to maintain cash availability and to allow for online transactions.
Kwan, Edeh, Oboh, Pauw and Thurlow (2020), the pandemic affected industries which include manufacturers of cement, basic and fabricated metals, plastics, glass, and furniture products. While port and cargo operations were exempted from movement restrictions, port operators and manufacturers still reported that the lockdown almost immediately resulted in a backlog of containers and increased congestion at the port, as interstate movement restrictions and fear of harassment led to reduced trucking services. Moreover, although manufacturers of food, drugs, pharmaceuticals, among others, were exempted from restrictions, anecdotal evidence suggests that security concerns and supply chain disruptions resulted in companies operating below capacity.
All these effects of COVID 19 pandemic affected the staff of Delta State University, directly or indirectly. On the case of transportation, the staff who had to travel paid exurbanite transport fees, the high prices of household food were also an economic challenge.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic had cause imaginable economic crisis in the world economy. Nigerian economic activities was also affected through the lockdown policy and COVID 19 protocol. This was a measure to curtail the spread of the virus. The worst that came in 2020 was the COVID 19 pandemic which is causing untold economic hardship on the people. According to some observations on the impact of COVID 19 on informal economic sector, it was noted that during the lockdown, the informal economic sector was affected negatively. Some scholars noted that the formal sector like the universities were not affected as their salaries where been paid. However, the announcement of the lockdown caused price inflation of commodities which affected employed population directly.Therefore, the study sought to investigate the economic impact of COVID 19 pandemic on staff of Delta State University Abraka.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions guided the study,
i. What is the economic impact of COVID 19 on Delta State University staff?
ii. What was the difference in economic impact of COVID 19 on teaching and non teaching staff?
iii. What were the economic strategies adopted by staff of Delta State University to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic?
1.4 Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of the study is to investigate the economic impact of COVID 19 on staff of Delta State University, Abraka while the following are the specific objectives
- To examine the economic of COVID 19 on Delta State University staff.
- To examine the difference in economic impact of COVID 19 on teaching and non teaching staff.
- To examine the economic strategies adopted by staff of Delta State University to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
1.6 Delimitation of the Study
The study will cover economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic on staff of Delta State University, Abraka. Also, the study is limited to a period of one year (February 2020 to February, 2021.
1.7 Significant of the Study
The study will benefit the following categories of persons; university staffs and academic researchers. Since the study is on the economic impact of COVID 19 on Delta State university staff, the study will help other staff from other university to know how far COVID 19 had affected economic life of staff and the way to mitigate the economic effect since predictions from WHO indicate that the virus has come to stay. Secondly, the study will be use as academic research reference material for student researchers and lecturers. Finally, the study will be use as data for economic planners since the pandemic had caused great economic hardship for SMEs and household activities.
1.8 Definition of Terms
COVID-19: This is a variant of SARS-2 Corona Virus which was discovered in Wuham in December 2019.
Impact: The effect of a subject on object such as the impact of COVID 19 on economic activities
University Staff: These are employees of higher education institutions. There are categorized into teaching and non teaching staff.
Economy: This is the large set of inter-related production and consumption activities that aid in determining how scarce resources are allocated. In an economy, the production and consumption of goods and services are used to fulfill the needs of those living and operating within it.