Corvus June 2021 | Page 3


Segun Agbaje
It is my pleasure to introduce you to the 6th edition of The Corvus , a financial and economic publication of Guaranty Trust Bank .
The global Covid-19 pandemic united the world in a struggle for survival on a scale — to use what is now a cliche — unprecedented . According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control ( ECDC ), over 171 million people globally have contracted Covid-19 , with over 3.5 million fatalities as of May 28 , 2021 . Most countries were unprepared for a crisis of this scale and it quickly became apparent that it is inadequate to respond to a black swan event with slow processes .
While early estimates suggested it would take years to see a vaccine , companies and governments acted quickly and efficiently to move that timeline forward . Messenger RNA ( mRNA ), which seemed only on the fringes of science since the late 1980s , has become the backbone of Covid-19 vaccine development . That lesson in efficiency from the healthcare sector has scaled across every aspect of the global economy . We saw an acceleration of trends as businesses evolved quickly to survive , and remote work became a reality . Endless Zoom calls talked about the new normal .
With the rollout of vaccines and easing of lockdown restrictions , this edition of the Corvus Magazine documents some of the lessons of the past 18 months as some parts of the world approach a post-Covid era . While stability has always been considered the bedrock of business survival , the ability of an organisation to renew itself in a turbulent environment has never been more critical . Businesses have demonstrated incredible resilience despite the odds .
This edition of Corvus also drives a vigorous conversation on Nigeria ' s population . While there are concerns about Nigeria ' s rapidly growing population , it may be more beneficial to consider it a productivity challenge that can be transformed into a significant economic advantage . This , of course , would only happen if legacy problems around quality education and skills acquisition are addressed .
As Nigeria ' s population continues to grow , it is encouraging to see that internet and smartphone penetration is increasing . The upside to increasing internet penetration is an uptick in e-commerce and for the new generation of digital natives , the internet will prove crucial and will create even more opportunities .
I am sure that you will find this edition of Corvus engaging , actionable , and insightful , and I hope you never forget that agile stays afloat when storms come .
Welcome to the 6th edition of The Corvus , a financial and economic publication of Guaranty Trust Bank plc .