A survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that more Nigerians have become jobless and/or poorer from the economic and health impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Known as the Covid-19 National Longitudinal Phone Survey (Covid19 NLPS), the survey captured responses from 1,950 households aimed at tracking and monitoring the impact of the pandemic on health and livelihood of Nigerians. It is the first of its kind, conducted between April 20th and May 11 this year in collaboration with the World Bank and the Living Standards Measurement Study.
42 percent of the respondents or 819 households, who were working before the outbreak reported they were not working due to the pandemic.
This means that a host of Nigerians within the working population have become jobless, worsening the country’s unemployment figure which is already at an all time high of 23 percent as of the third quarter of 2018, the last time the state-funded agency publicly updated the figure.
During that time, some 20.9 million Nigerians were unemployed. The figure would have more than triple, based on analysts estimate.
The impact of the outbreak on employment was felt more in the commerce, service, and agricultural sector of the economy, the survey shows.
Meanwhile, 79 percent of the respondents or 1,540 households reported that their total income has decreased since mid March, with many struggling to keep up with the purchase of staple food like yam, rice and beans.
The pandemic is also increasing the number of out of school as Nigeria continues to close learning centres as part of the measures to contain the spread of the virus.
38 percent of the household surveyed with children who attended school prior to school closures due to the pandemic reported that their children did not engage in any learning/education activities.