42% of Nigerians Lost Jobs to COVID-19, Says NBS

The Nigeria Bureau of statistics carried out a survey tagged “COVID-19 National Longitudinal Survey on the SOCIO-ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF COVID-9 ON NIGERIAN HOUSEHOLDS”. The survey showed that 42% of Nigerians lost their jobs during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. NBS said it conducted the survey between April to May 2020. The result also states that about 79% of Nigerians reported that their household’s total income had decreased.

According to the bureau; “In order to track the impacts of the pandemic, the National Bureau of Statistics implemented the Nigeria COVID-19 National Longitudinal Phone Survey (COVID-19 NLPS) on a nationally representative sample of 1,950 households. It was also deduced from their survey that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been strongly felt in the commerce, service and agriculture sector. “Many households have struggled to cope with these widespread shocks with 51 percent of all households resorting to reducing food consumption”, the report added

The NBS added that the economic shocks experienced by Nigerians in the few months after the outbreak of Coronavirus far exceeded shocks experienced between 2017 and 2019. According to the report; “The most widely reported shock experienced by households was an increase in prices of major food items faced by 85 percent of households since the outbreak compared to only 19 percent between January 2017 and January 2019. A total of 26 percentage of interviewed households who needed medical treatment reported not being able to access treatment, while 38 percent of households with children who attended school prior to school closures due to the pandemic reported that their children did not engage in any learning or education activities.

The unemployment rate is one of the major macroeconomic indicators. A country that aims at growing its economy should have a reduced unemployment rate. High unemployment indicates the economy is operating below full capacity and this can lead to lower output and incomes. With a reduction in employment level, consumption pattern will change signalling a decline which will contribute to lower spending and lower output. Not only does this have a direct effect on the economy but also an indirect effect as societal problems like robbery will be on the high side.

If we are to trace the cause of the loss in job, the COVID-19 pandemic will take the highest and significant share. However, this could be avoided rather, it could have a less impact. 42% of Nigerians losing their jobs during this period can also be traced to the concentration of jobs on some certain sectors of the economy such as the finance sector. With a high number of employees in these sectors and a low number of workers in other sectors of the economy. Job security cannot be promised to workers in sectors with high number of employees during crisis like the current pandemic. This is one of the reasons diversification of the economy has been advised over and over again and will continue to be an advice with a focus not on the government this time but on individuals (entrepreneurship).

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