IMPACT OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN ON THE USE OF DELIVERY SERVICE IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In early 2020, the COVID-19 (caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus) pandemic took the world by storm as it gained widespread across countries. The Coronavirus apparently started to spread in China during December 2019, before moving to Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, United States, Vietnam, Singapore, and other countries of the Western Pacific Region and South-East Asia Region, and onwards to Russia, Africa, and Latin America McLord (2020).
The first index case of COVID-19 surfaced as unknown acute pneumonia in Wuhan hospital, a city in Eastern China. Consequently, WHO declared the virus a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, WHO (Cai et al., 2020; Wang et al., 2020) having been previously recognized as a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)” on January 30, 2020.
The sudden emergence of the novel coronavirus has affected the entire world in an unprecedented manner. Thus, the issue has and continues to gather momentum by day owing largely to the growing rate of human-to-human transmission, causing severe respiratory disorder, and more damaging, is its unrestrained lethality. In fact, within the space of 6 months, over 7 million people were affected by the virus, causing the death of nearly 434,796 people, while about 4,272,909 recovered from the virus (Worldometer, 2020). The lack of available clinical vaccines to combating the virus prompted the global resolve for the adoption of lockdown measures, which was first implemented by the central government of China in Wuhan on January 23, 2020. This lockdown move was commended globally and particularly by the World Health Organization (WHO), tagging it as “unprecedented in public health history” (Crossley, 2020). Subsequently, there were widespread declarations of lockdown in over 100 countries between April and June 2020. This lockdown move became an inevitable option owing to both the anticipated and unanticipated macroeconomic shocks that could be triggered by the evolving virus.
Conceptually, lockdown has been referred to as an emergency response imposed by the government, mandating people to stay indoors in the event of an outbreak. In the case of COVID-19, the ultimate goal of lockdown measure was to flatten the curve of the novel virus. The exercise entails the closure of all activities-based centres such as schools, hotels, markets, religious houses etc. that could make a sizable number of people come together (NCDC, 2020; CDC, 2020; WHO, 2020).
As a result of these measures, businesses and other economic sectors were all shot down. While the most essential sectors operated at low levels. In view of the use of delivery services in Nigeria, the restrictions placed on the general public limited its operation. Upon this ground, this study seeks to examine the effect of Covid-19 lockdown on delivery services.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The presence of the virus in Nigeria was first reported on February 27, 2020, when an Italian citizen visiting Nigeria tested positive for the virus, caused by SARS-CoV-2. On 9 March 2020, a second case of the virus was reported at Ewekoro, Ogun State, a Nigerian citizen who had contact with the Italian index case. The rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus led countries around the world into a health crisis with Nigeria inclusive. The adoption of lockdown measures was considered the best option towards combating the spread of the virus. However this drastic necessitated measure had its effects on substantial economic, business, and commercial services such as the delivery service. Delivery service as a kind of business in Nigeria suffered limitations during the covid-19 lockdown as movement was strictly restricted, low patronage as many potential customers experienced low income and many more lost their jobs. The study conducted by KPMG, (2020) has revealed that 94 percent of global and local delivery businesses in Nigeria have been impacted and experienced COVID-19 disruptions.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
This study is targeted towards assessing the impact of Covid-19 lockdown on delivery service in Nigeria. Other specific objectives include;
Unveil the nature of Covid-19 lockdown effect on the use of delivery service.
Examine the extent to which delivery service was patronized during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Investigate the challenges delivery service businesses encountered during the lock down.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
a. What is the nature of Covid-19 lockdown effect on the use of delivery services in Nigeria?
b. What is the extent to which delivery service was patronized during the Covid-19 lockdown in Nigeria?
c. What are the challenges delivery service businesses encountered during the lock down?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study on the impact of Covid-19 Lockdown on delivery service in Nigeria will unveil the nature and usefulness of delivery services in Nigeria. More so, this study will disclose findings on how delivery service businesses were affected by the unprecedented outbreak of Covid-19 and relevant recommendations of this study will be helpful to delivery service business owners and other businesses with such nature of operation. Even researchers, students, teachers and the general public will consider this study as a relevant one based on their area of interest.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covers only the impact of Covid-19 lockdown on delivery services in Nigeria using GIG logistics Abeokuta Lagos state as case study.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The major constrain of this study is time factors as the researcher had a little time frame to carry out this study. More so financial constrains and language barriers were also major key factors that limited this study.
1.8. DEFINITION OF TERMS
Covid-19: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is defined as illness caused by a novel coronavirus now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; formerly called 2019-nCoV), which was first identified amid an outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
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.
Delivery Service: this the act of offering delivery to customers in their respective destinations.