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Raising from a webinar organized to commemorate the year 2020 Father’s Day the Men’s  Missionary Union of the Nigerian Baptist Convention has reopened the eyes of the public to the new realities brought with the coming of the global pandemic caused by coronavirus popularly code named Covid-19.

Under the choice of the topic Covid-19: Reinventing Yourself For The New Economiy, the team of erudite discussants comprising Professor Segun Ajibola a former President of Council of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, University of Liverpool trained rs Uvie Benito-Oserogho, an agric business woman and consultant, and Benin Edo state based accountant and management consultant Mr Jonathan Nikori, and the well composed moderator Dr. Chika Ossai-Ugbah roundly came to the consensus that the pandemic which has lasted for months, which end had not been seen, has brought some fundamental changes of which the way out is either to embrace it or be consumed by it.

Setting the tone of the discussion, the moderator Dr. Ossai had painted the mixed picture of opportunities and crises the pandemic had brought globally in its coming, especially in a seemingly unprepared economy like that of Nigeria.

He said “Covid 19 has brought both opportunities and crises to the world. It has brought destruction, and crises that we only need to live with or learn how to manage,” narrowing it to the topic of the discussion, he asked, “How we can reinvent ourselves to operate in the new economy? The option opened to all survivors of Covid-19 will be to redefine themselves, or for the lockdown to destroy or strengthen them.”

In his own introduction Professor Ajibola now of Babcock University defined Reinventing as “A way of changing something to an entire new outlook, a way to rebuild or restructure or repositioning, and a new economy as a new concept of running business on a new order.

“It is a way that points to how we need to reinvent ourselves, our lifestyles, job situations, trades and professions, spiritual lives, belief systems, customs and tradition, and to turn a new person entirely.”

In a spiritual context the erudite banker said “Covid-19 has come to show us how to crucify the old man and become a new person, to live in a new environment that is being remade. It is a paradigm shift to entirely new ways, and the ways in the new economy that is structured along hitec, infotech where technology was to play a key role.”

The new economy according to him would be internet driven, technology savvy and the new option would be to embrace the new ways of doing things, which Covid-19 has clearly shown us. It has made us to learn and do things we would not have done ordinarily, like holding online seminars now popularly called webinar.

In her own submission Mrs Benito-Oserogho explained that with the Covid-19 and the lockdown which has come with it, a lot of things has changed “Our lifestyle has changed. It has taught us to change our lifestyle, it has trained us to change our minds, it has brought a new way of doing things even for the better.”

Continuing she added “Education is now done online, marketing and trading system has changed, our social life has changed. These days it has drastically reduced our expenses on social activities, as people now organise private weddings, birthdays and even burial. There is no more wasteful spending. These days one needs not to go to market to buy stuffs, as such can be ordered online, these days people are not talking of investment but survival. Our ways of life is now technology driven, it is a change that has come to stay.,” she emphasised.

In his own thinking, Mr Jonathan Nikori was of the view that it was a fact of new development that our way of life has been changed by Covid-19. “Now we have go to be safety conscious more than before. We now need to wash our hands, hugging and shaking of hands are no more fashionable, banking businesses are now technology based businesses have gone online. Circumstances have compelled towards doing some things in a new way. Things have to be done and done differently.

“We are now becoming technology dependent, survival conscious, and our responses have changed. According to him part of the changes in responses include change of mindset, inward looking, reinvented economy, virtual schools and online trading has taken over things.

Along this line Professor Ajibola explained how the pandemic has impacted on labour, saying “The culture of going to daily labour has drastically reduced. Many people have devised ways of privately empowering themselves at home so much that more people now stay at home and earn more than they used to earn from daily or salary jobs, people can now earn more by working at home with no stress. It is a way of reinventing oneself.

With the above scenario it was agreed that the only way out was to embrace the new fundamental, look inward on how one can empower himself, reinvent the economy and accept the new normal.

“Covid-19 has been a leveller of the strong and the weak. It is a call to humble ourselves and it has brought the gospel of self reinvention. The option left to us is to look inward and reinvent ourselves,” they chorused, concluding with various opportunities that are inherent in the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.

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Julius Adegunna, a writer, and publisher of good news and reports. He is also a trainer in Writing and Publishing, a Media Consultant and an Entrepreneur. A 1987 Graduate of International Relations of the University of Ife, (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) with Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations, and Master in Communication Studies of Lagos State University. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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