A CRITICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE EFFECT OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN AND POS WITHDRAWAL CHARGES IN LAGOS STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
COVID-19 was discovered in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. however, it spread rapidly and did negatively impacted all countries and territories around the world. Over 6 million COVID-19 cases had been registered worldwide as at 5 octomber 2020, with over 1,000000 deaths (Johns Hopkins University, 2020; WHO) (2020). These figures were mind-boggling, and the pandemic became a defining global health issue in recent history.
According to health researchers, the disease does not discriminate against individuals based on their age, sex, gender, color, ethnicity, social status, or other social characteristics (WHO, 2020). Older individuals, low-income households, aboriginal peoples, and persons with underlying infectious or immune conditions, on the other hand, are assumed to be more vulnerable to the pandemic (WHO, 2020).
The virus was first discovered in Nigeria on February 27, 2020, when an Italian resident entering the country tested positive for the virus, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2. On March 9, 2020, a Nigerian citizen who had contact with the Italian index case confirmed a second case of the virus in Ewekoro, Ogun State. The widespread and dissemination of COVID-19 virus has thrown countries around the world, including Nigeria, into a health crisis.
To combat the spread of COVID-19, the Federal Government, in collaboration with state governments, imposed a lockdown in Lagos, Abuja, and Ogun, which was later expanded to other parts of the country. as a result the economy has been disrupted, with nearly all aspects of the economy being affected - movement of individuals and products has been limited, schools have been closed, social and religious activities have been prohibited, and offices were closed. The most unbearable being the fact that individuals had daily financial needs which can only be sorted out through to the help of bank services.
Mobile banking which is one of the major commercial banks services appeared to be the only alternative which can be embraced during this period as it facilitates multi transactional features through the availability of smart phone, the POS etc.
The availability of POS by the roadsides assisted individuals to withdraw funds, make cash deposits and transfers etc. However the imposed lockdown in Nigeria limited the operations of POS businesses thereby resulting to scarcity of withdrawal points and other banking service. This however amounted to an unusual service charge by the few available POS operators in Lagos State Nigeria. Hence it is upon this note that this study desires to investigate the resultant effect of Covid-19 lockdown and POS withdrawal charges in Lagos State Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The lockdown Covid-19 preventive measure implemented by the Nigeria Government was applauded as a good decision against the spread of virus in Nigeria. But it had an unpalatable effect on the social and personal well-fare of its residence. The most intolerable was that people had regular financial needs that can be resolved only with the aid of financial services but had no freedom of movement and even the banks were unavailable.
The accessibility of POS aided individuals in performing cashless transactions and other financial activities. However, Nigeria's enforced lockdown restricted the activities of POS businesses, resulting in a shortage of withdrawal points and other banking services. However, the few available POS operators in Lagos State, imposed an odd service fee as a result of this.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
To achieve this study, the researcher formulated the following objectives;
Investigate if the Covid-19 outbreak affected the availability of POS in Lagos State.
Ascertain if the Covid-19 lockdown preventive measure imposed in Lagos State Nigeria resulted to usual price hike of POS charges.
Investigate if the Covid-19 lockdown and POS charges affected residents accessibility to fund.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Did the Covid-19 outbreak affected the availability of POS in Lagos State?
2. Did the Covid-19 lockdown preventive measure imposed in Lagos State Nigeria resulted to usual price hike of POS charges?
3. Did the Covid-19 lockdown and POS charges affected residents accessibility to fund in Lagos State?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study on the effect of covid-19 lockdown and POS withdrawal charges in Lagos State will be so useful and informative to the Lagos State Government and the federal Government of Nigeria as it will unveil the need to consider the well-being of its citizens and making available suitable provision when imposing drastic majors in the society.
Furthermore, this study will also be useful to students, researchers etc who in their respective field of study may likely carryout a research epistle similar to the one under review.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study oversee an investigation into the impact of Covid-19 outbreak on the availability of POS in Lagos State; also an assessment into quest of ascertaining if Covid-19 lockdown preventive measure imposed in Lagos State Nigeria resulted to usual price hike of POS charges and finally, Investigate if the Covid-19 lockdown and POS charges affected residents accessibility to fund.
In this study, the researcher will obtain responses to its questionnaires from residence of Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The major constrain of this study includes the language barriers, attitude of the respondents, financial constrains and time factors as the researcher had a little time frame to carry out this study.
1.9 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
Covid-19: This is also known as the coronavirus and COVID, is a contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Lockdown: A lockdown is a restriction policy for people or community to stay where they are, usually due to specific risks to themselves or to others if they can move and interact freely. The term "stay-at-home" or "shelter-in-place" is often used for lockdown that affect an area, rather than specific locations.
POS: The point of sale (POS) or point of purchase (POP) is the time and place where a retail transaction is completed.