Author(s): Eromafuru Edward Godbless
The public outcry that accosted the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the global sphere, governmental authorities and healthcare institutions, have stepped up efforts to unmask the cause and effects with a view to marshalling action plans to curtaining the excesses of the noxious epidemic. The billions of dollars that have been earmarked combined with the commitment of human and material resources by the international agencies have neither curtailed the spread nor reduce the number of causalities of the deadly spiral. With the failures of the institutional apparatuses to confront the scourge for all practical intents, many have desperately resorted to self-help. Following the escalation of the novel virus in Sub-Sahara Africa, the travails of SMBEs in the vulnerable locations have occupied a center pace in the national discourse and social media. Could this be an ultimate time bomb? Could there be escape route? How long would the pandemic last and could there be permanent cure? Efforts to address the above questions have not yielded practical results, thus creating a large lacuna in the existing literature on the subject. The study examined the connection between the COVID-19 pandemic and the socio-cultural and socio-economic impacts on the Small and Medium Business Enterprises (SMBEs) in Nigeria. The population strength included all registered SMBEs in the Nigerian manufacturing and service sectors, and a sample size of 350 was determined through Cochran’s formula (1997). Cross sectional research survey method through questionnaire was used to elicit responses from the target audience in the study. The study revolved around the Chaos management theory; multivariate regression model was used to analyze the level of relationship between the intervening variables. We found: positive but weak relationship between COVID-19 pandemic and economic benefits among private sector investors; negative association between COVID-19 and traditional lifestyles among the people; negative relationship between COVID-19 upsurge and living standards among Nigerians; positive relationship between COVID-19 and level of uncertainties among people. While it will be ill-considered to expect a miraculous recovery from the heat waves that heralded and post-dated the COVID-19 episode, an integrative approach through strategic collaboration to managing the excesses of the pandemic will provide leeway and channel strategic routes toward curtaining and managing the ubiquitous syndrome.