COVID-19 Face Masks: Latest Business Idea in Lagos


Most Nigerians have proven over time to be opportunists and they always get away with making life harder for their next neighbor. This attribute is a common phenomenon in the most populous state in the country, Lagos.

In most countries, since the coronavirus pandemic started, the government, business owners, and the masses have been trying to make life easier for themselves. But in Nigeria, especially Lagos, the masses and the government are always like negative and positive currents.

Since the pandemic hits Nigeria, prices of almost everything have doubled, if not more, to the detriment of everyone and for the profits of a few. Both things made locally and imported goods are competing to see which will get to the roof before the other.

Hence, as most of the masses are crying that the government is making things hard for them, they are in turn making things harder for themselves and the government.

This has become a norm because of the free market economy or lack of price regulation which characterizes almost every sector of Nigeria's economy. Everyone decides or enforces what suits or benefits his pocket. "After all, the government doesn't care", they always say.

Now, talking about the latest business idea in Lagos. Have you heard that Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced that he will start making the wearing of face mask compulsory for everyone living in the state from next week?

“From next week, we are going to be making face masks compulsory in Lagos state. We have commissioned more than one million face masks to be distributed in the state", the governor said during a televised media briefing on COVID-19 updates on Monday, April 20, 2020.

Also, the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said on Sunday that: “There is some theoretical evidence that the wearing of masks may indeed reduce the number of droplets in the environment from the person that is infected with COVID-19 and that is the reason why we are beginning to define the strategy of face masks for the general community."

Distribution of "one million face masks?" You and I know that just like the palliatives distributed to the "most vulnerable people" in the state, this one million face masks might end up in the hands of "one million boys" somewhere in Lagos.

Besides that, how does the government intends to distribute one million face masks across a state with over 20 million residents?

Well, that is the new business idea. Immediately the news broke that an Italian man had brought COVID-19 to Nigeria in February, the prices of face masks, hand sanitizers tripled.

Face masks, in particular, jumped from 50 Naira per one to 200 Naira per one. Now that the government is about to make it mandatory, it would most likely jump to 500 Naira if the government decides not to do anything about it.

So, there you have it. If you are in Lagos and you can make face masks, your time to shine has come. But how long are we going to keep exploiting ourselves?   

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