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COVID-19: 20% of Nigerian workers lose jobs

Felix Oloyede

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COVID-19: 20% of Nigerian workers lose jobs

About 20 per cent of workers in Nigeria have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.

This is contained in a report of a study conducted by the NBS and the United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP) which surveyed about 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 that was 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,” they 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-fifth of enterprises reported decreased production, the report 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 affected 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 in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, with food inflation, heightened insecurity and stalled reforms slowing the economy and increasing poverty, the World Bank said.

The Bank 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. (VON)

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