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1.1  Background of the study

Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa (with an estimated population of 200 million [9]), is one of the epicenters of COVID-19 in Africa. It reportedly recorded its first COVID-19 case on February 27, 2020 (when an Italian citizen, who works in Nigeria, was diagnosed with the disease upon returning back to Nigeria from a trip to Milan, Italy [10]). This was the very first reported case in sub-Saharan Africa [10]. Data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) show that, as of September 13, 2020, Nigeria has 56,117 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1078 cumulative deaths (see Figure 1 for a time series data on confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria) [11]. Furthermore, a total of 440,248 samples were tested for COVID-19 as of September 13, 2020 [11]. The federal government of

Nigeria implemented a strict lockdown of three major centres in the country (namely, Lagos city, Ogun State and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja) on March 30, 2020, aimed at minimizing community transmission of COVID-19. During the imposed lockdown, only food stores and essential service providers were allowed to operate [12]. However, due to the increase in the cumulative COVID-19 confirmed cases, the government extended the community lockdown to include the rest of the country on April 27, 2020. The government announced plans to begin easing restrictions in the country from May 4, 2020, by allowing offices, businesses, markets, and stores to resume operation with limited hours and staff capacity, but with compulsory wearing of face masks in public and checking of body temperatures [12, 13]. However, restrictions, which include an overnight curfew and a ban on nonessential interstate travel, are still in place [12,13]. A natural question to ask is when would it be safe to relax the lockdown measures to re-open the economy and the country? In other words, under what conditions can the lockdown measures be relaxed without risking the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 that may be as (or even more) devastating as the first? This is one of the main objectives of the current study. We seek to use mathematical modeling approaches and rigorous mathematical analyses, coupled with statistical data analytics, to achieve this and related objectives.

Mathematical models have, historically, been used to provide realistic insight into the transmission dynamics and control of infectious diseases, dating back to the pioneering works of Sir Ronald Ross and Kermack-McKendrick in the 1900s [14]. Numerous models have also been designed and used to understand the mechanisms for the spread, control and mitigation of COVID-19 in a community. Ferguson et al. [15] developed one of the very first models for COVID-19. Their agent-based model,which was used to assess the impact of NPIs on COVID-19 mortality, predicted an alarmingly-high projection for the cumulative mortality in the US (2.2 million deaths) and the UK (510,000 deaths) if no public health interventions are used (i.e., their worst-case scenario predictions for COVID-induced mortality for the US was in millions, while that of the UK was in hundreds of thousands). A recent study by Eikenberry et al. [4] used a new multi-group Kermack-McKendrick-type epidemic model to assess the impact of mask usage in public in curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in the US. Their study shows that the use of face masks by members of the general public is potentially of high value in curtailing community transmission and the burden of the pandemic. This study further shows that the community-wide benefits of face masks are likely to be greatest when they are used in conjunction with other non-pharmaceutical interventions (such as social-distancing), and when face masks are adopted universally (i.e., throughout the nation) and compliance in their usage is high.

A detailed mathematical model for assessing the community-wide impact of NPIs on combating and mitigating the burden of COVID-19 was developed by Ngonghala et al. [5]. Their study showed that, while the early relaxation or lifting of social-distancing and community lockdown measures (and face mask usage in the public) is likely to lead to second wave, extended the duration of the social-distancing and lockdown measures (and face mask usage in public) can significantly reduce the COVID-induced mortality in the US in general, and the state of New York in particular. The potential for a COVID-19 outbreak aboard the Diamond Princess cruise (which experienced a major COVID-19 outbreak during the months of January and February of 2020) was modeled by Mizumoto and Chowell [16]. Their study showed a high estimate of the reproduction of the model (making major outbreak inevitable), and that the reproduction number substantially decreases with increasing effectiveness of the quarantine and isolation measures implemented on the ship. Adegboye et al. [17] used a log-linear Poisson regression model to estimate the early transmissibility of the novel coronavirus in Nigeria. Their 45-day estimates showed that, although COVID-19 cases in Nigeria have been remarkably lower than expected, more testing needs to be done to stop local transmission. Musa et al. [18] estimated the growth rate and basic reproduction number of the novel coronavirus to show the potential of the virus to spread, and to reveal the importance of sustaining stringent health measures to control the disease in Africa.

Using a stochastic model, Hellewell et al. [19] showed that (for most instances) the spread of COVID-19 can be effectively contained in 3 months if contact-tracing and isolation are highly effective. Furthermore, using another stochastic model to study the COVID-19 trajectory in the Wuhan city of China from January to February, 2020, Kucharski et al. [20] showed that a reduction in COVID-19 transmission can be achieve when travel restrictions are implemented. Using a model for assessing the effect of mass influenza vaccination on the spread of COVID-19 and other influenza-like pathogens co-circulating during an influenza season, Li et al. [21] showed that increasing influenza vaccine uptake (or enhancing the public health interventions) would facilitate the management of outbreaks of respiratory pathogens circulating during the peak flu season.

Recently, Iboi et al. [6] developed a mathematical model to determine whether or not a hypothetical imperfect vaccine can lead to the elimination of COVID-19 in the United States. Their study showed that such elimination is feasible, using the hypothetical vaccine with assumed efficacy of 80%, if the vaccine coverage is high enough to achieve herd immunity. In particular, the vaccine coverage needed to achieve herd immunity in US is 90%, while the computed herd threshold for the states of New York and the state of Florida are 84% and 85%, respectively.

The current study is based on using a mathematical model to assess the impact of NPIs on the transmission dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. The model will be parametrized using available COVID-19 mortality data for Nigeria, the state of Lagos, Kano and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja to estimate important parameters related to the reduction in community contacts. The main objectives of the study include determining whether or not the current NPI-based control and mitigation measures in Nigeria would be adequate to lead to the effective control of the pandemic in Nigeria. Further, the impact of early relaxation or lifting of the current social-distancing and community lockdown measures will be assessed. In particular, the model will be used to determine when it would be safe to relax these measures without risking the possibility of a second wave of the pandemic.

Given these unprecedented happenings, financial markets – particularly the capital markets – around the world have seen levels of volatility that are only comparable to the global financial crisis of 2007/2008. The Exchange has, therefore, prioritized the provision of an enabling environment for its stakeholders to operate effectively. Consequently, we have provided frequent updates to our Issuers (listed companies) and Dealing Member Firms, provided technological support and released several guidance documents to address regulatory matters as follows:

Notices to Issuers on the conduct of 2020 Annual General Meetings (AGMs);

Circular on CAC’s guidelines on Holding of Annual General Meetings (AGMs) for companies via proxies;

Extension of the deadline for filing returns for Issuers;

Notices to Dealing Member Firms on the extension of time to complete the 2020 Self-Assessment Form;

Guidance to Facilitate Effective Virtual Meetings for Stakeholders Amidst COVID-19;

Circular to Issuers on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Extension of Time to File all Financial Statements.

Transitioning to Business as Usual

Following the activation of our Business Continuity Plan and our transition to remote working and trading, The Exchange has been resolute in its commitment to ensure that there are no disruptions to operations for any of our stakeholders. We have leveraged our existing digital assets to ensure there is continuous flow of information and activity in the market and are exploring creative solutions to enhance our stakeholders’ experience during this period.

In conducting our business over these four weeks, we have also made significant strides to maintain the flow of information, deepen activities in the capital market and widen the pool of investment instruments for investors. We have achieved several listings on the floor of The Exchange including the N20Bn Flour Mills Bond; N16.5Bn Primero BRT SPV Bond; N1.2Bn supplementary listing of Golden Guinea Breweries Plc shares; and several Government Bonds worth over N160Bn. Furthermore, we have hosted several capacity building sessions online for capital market players such as the “Using Alternative Investments Classes to Navigate Uncertain Times” webinar for institutional investors, and “Dimensioning The Next Curve: Knowing What is Coming and Strategically Preparing for It” for corporates within our ecosystem.

We were also particularly pleased to rekindle the long-held tradition of sounding the closing gong by hosting our first-ever digital closing gong ceremony to commemorate the contributions of Sterling Bank Plc – one of our Issuers who has made significant contributions to the fight against COVID-19. The closing gong ceremony held on Thursday, 16 April 2020 via Instagram Live and was well-received by our stakeholders both online and offline, and we will continue to seek out other avenues for digital expression.

Ultimately, we have made concerted efforts to ensure that we play our role as responsible corporate citizens to take precautionary measures to protect our stakeholders during this pandemic, while doing our best to maintain the integrity of our market and stimulate economic growth. As stated by Chief Executive Officer, Oscar N. Onyema, OON: “The exchange remains committed to providing corporates and investors with access to the market in meeting their financial and investment needs during this period and beyond. While we are hopeful for a quick resolution to his pandemic, we will continue to adapt our operations, leverage all available opportunities and maintain open lines of communication to all our stakeholders.”

1.2  Statement of the problem

On 25 February 2020, the index case of the novel Coronavirus, Covid-19, was announced in Nigeria. Since then, the number of cases has risen to 627 confirmed cases with 170 discharged and 21 deaths as at 20 April 2020. This global pandemic that has taken the world by storm has necessitated a significant change in life and work as we know it with many countries experiencing partial or total lockdowns, deceleration in economic productivity, increase in unemployment and several other effects.

To minimise the health, social and economic impacts of Covid-19, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (“NSE” or “the exchange”) has taken significant steps to preserve the health and safety of our stakeholders and ensure that there are no disruptions to our operations.

Since the announcement of the index case in February, the Nigerian Stock Exchange deployed precautionary health measures across our offices through thermal temperature checks, use of hand sanitizers, screening of visitors and minimizing access to our premises. Given the dramatic rise in the number of confirmed cases in the third week of March, an emergency virtual meeting of the National Council was convened on Saturday, March 21, 2020 to deliberate on additional proactive steps to minimize the impact of this global pandemic on our people, business operations and stakeholders.

The exchange remains committed to providing corporates and investors with access to the market in meeting their financial and investment needs during this period and beyond

This led to the activation of our Business Continuity Plan which saw employees transition to remote working for an initial 30-day period effective Tuesday, 24 March 2020, and the temporary closure of our trading floors as our brokers transitioned to remote trading on Wednesday, 25 March 2020. However, our offices have since that time remained open to essential staff and a representative of the Executive Committee who will ensure the smooth running of The Exchange, while all our brokers have been provided with the requisite platforms to trade remotely and seamlessly including FIX Protocol, X-NET and VPN access.

1.3  Objectives of the study

1.    To understand the impact of covid-19 on nigeria stock exchange

2.    To understand the relationship between covid-19 and the development of the Nigeria stock exchange

1.4  Research questions

1.    What is the impact of covid-19 on nigeria stock exchange

2.    What is the relationship between covid-19 and the development of the Nigeria stock exchange

1.5  Research hypothesis

H0: There is no relationship between covid-19 and the development of the Nigeria stock exchange

H1: There is a relationship between covid-19 and the development of the Nigeria stock exchange


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