About 20 per cent of workers in Nigeria have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said yesterday.
The NBS and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) surveyed sbout 3,000 businesses in Nigeria.
In March, the NBS said a third of Nigeria’s workers were out of a job in the fourth quarter of last year, a situation worsened by the pandemic.
“While there have been promising signs of recovery this year, COVID-19 has had an outsized socio-economic impact on Nigeria,” the duo said in a statement.
The job cuts followed disruptions to supply chains, continuing supply and demand shocks, and a drop in consumer confidence.
About 60 per cent of the almost 3,000 businesses surveyed reported that one in three of them knew of a company that had permanently closed down because of operational challenges resulting from the pandemic. Four-fifths of enterprises reported decreased production, it said.
Businesses complained about revenue declines, higher costs and an inadequate safety net for those in the informal sector, they said, adding that the disruption could leave a lasting impact on enterprises. Only a few in the utilities, financial and health sectors reported gains from the previous year.
The economy, the biggest on the continent, was hammered by the fall in oil prices following disruptions caused by the pandemic. The country relies on crude exports for around 70 per cent of government revenue.
Growth in Nigeria has resumed after COVID-19 triggered a recession but it lags the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, with food inflation, heightened insecurity and stalled reforms slowing the economy and increasing poverty, the World Bank has said.
The bank has said the COVID-induced crisis was expected to push over 11 million Nigerians into poverty by 2022, taking the total number of people classified as poor in the country to over 100 million. The total population is estimated at 200 million.