Nigerians are losing their jobs as both individuals and firms face undaunted challenges due to the snowballing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the economy.
According to the maiden report of COVID-19 impact monitoring survey recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on employment and income of Nigerians have been widespread.
Majority already lost their jobs
Out of the 1,950 households surveyed on a nationally representative sample, 42% of the respondents who were working before the outbreak were no longer working the week preceding the interview for reasons related to COVID-19.
Further breakdown showed that the poorest households (from the lowest consumption quintile) reported the highest share of Nigerians who stopped working (45%), while 35% of the wealthiest household also affected.
Also, a high rate of households reported income loss since mid-March 2020, as 79% of households reported that their total income decreased. Basically, while income from all sources were affected, the rate was highest for income from non-farm family business (85%) compared to household farming, livestock or fishing (73%) and wage employment (58%).
Commerce, Services and Agriculture sectors are the hardest hit
Further details provided showed that Nigerians working in almost all the sectors were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the commerce, services and agriculture sectors were reported to have recorded the highest number of layoffs.
According to the report, 14% of respondents were working in the commerce sector before the outbreak but have since stopped working due to COVID-19. This is equivalent to 60% of all those working in the sector prior to the pandemic.
READ ALSO: UPDATED: FG declares June 12 public holiday
In all sectors, respondents that stopped working reported that COVID-19 related economic impacts were the primary cause of their lay-offs.
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Low access to basic needs
In a similar light, it was revealed that a high percentage of households could not afford needs such as staple foods, soap and cleaning supplies and access to treatment.
According to the NBS, between 35-59% of households could not afford to buy staple foods like yam, rice and beans during the 7 days prior to the interview when they needed them. Also, soap and cleaning supplies were the most commonly needed items by the surveyed households, though most households were able to purchase these items.
Meanwhile, 26% of households who needed medical treatment were not able to get them.
Adopting coping mechanisms
According to the NBS report, many households appear to be turning to coping mechanisms that can have further negative impacts of disruption caused by COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau stated that Nigerians captured in the survey experienced serious disruptions of economic activities, particularly nonfarm business closure (36%) and farming activities (29%).
While households are facing economic shocks, they are also attempting to adapt and cope with the current realties. Some of the coping mechanisms household are adopting include reducing food consumption (51% of all households) and drawing down their savings (29%).
#EndSARS: Lagos State needs N1 trillion to rebuild losses – Gbajabiamila
Gbajabiamila has said that the Lagos State Governor told him that the state would need N1 trillion for the reconstruction of destroyed assets.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has disclosed that Lagos State will need about N1 trillion for the reconstruction and repair of the properties and infrastructure that was vandalized and destroyed by hoodlums.
Gbajabiamila disclosed this while responding to questions from State House Correspondents after the assessment visitation of some of the properties that were destroyed during the protest.
What you should know
The #EndSARS protest which started as a peaceful demonstration by thousands of youths, degenerated into chaos after the protests were hijacked by hoodlums. The distasteful actions of hoodlums and arsonists have seen properties worth billions of naira vandalized, destroyed and razed down.
One of the consequences of these events was reported by Nairametrics as the Lagos State Government revealed that 27 of the burnt Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles in the Oyingbo and Ojodu Berger areas of the state cost $200,000 each, while 57 of them cost $100,000 each, which gives a total of N3.9 billion.
What they are saying
According to information gathered by The Punch, the Speaker said, “The House of Representatives will do all it can to compensate all those who suffered brutality, including policemen that lost their lives in the process.
“However, we want to know what exactly happened at the Lekki Toll Gate. The judicial panel must reveal this. However, I want to encourage Nigerians to allow peace to reign.
“I learnt from the governor of Lagos State that it will take N1trn to rebuild what had been lost and asked him what’s the budget size of the state, he said about N1trn. You can see we are moving backwards.
“Hence, we must consider the consequences of our actions before embarking on any venture. I, therefore, appeal to the youth to allow peace to reign henceforth. I still believe in the unity of Nigeria.”
#EndSARS: NBC fines AIT, Channels and Arise TV over use of “unverifiable” footages
The NBC has sanctioned three major Nigerian television stations over their reportage of recent unrest across the country.
The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has fined Nigerian media houses including AIT, Channels TV and Arise News, claiming they used unverifiable video footages from social media to cover the #EndSARS protests.
This was disclosed in a report by AIT on Monday afternoon. According to media reports, the regulators imposed various fines on Arise TV, African Independent Television (AIT) and Channels Television between N2million and N3million.
“The National Broadcasting Commission has sanctioned Africa Independent Television, AIT, Arise TV and Channels for what it calls, a gross violation of the broadcast code, top of which is the use of unverifiable online video footages on the social media,” AIT said.
The Acting Director-General of the commission, Armstrong Idachaba, warned that further sanctions will be harsher and announced that the owners of AIT, DAAR Communications would be fined separately for alleged reports of a fire incident at the National Christian Centre.
The sanction according to Idachaba, will be a fine of not less than N2 million.
The NBC had warned last week that broadcasters must “perform the role of a peace agent by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality” in reporting the protests.
More details later..
Why Okonjo-Iweala should win the WTO DG role – Prof. Moghalu
Professor Kingsley Moghalu has thrown support behind Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to win the World Trade Organization top job.
A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, has publicly canvassed support for Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to win the World Trade Organization (WTO) top job.
The former professor of public policy at Fletcher School, Tufts University, made the disclosure via his official Twitter handle, as seen by Nairametrics
Prof. Moghalu made a strong case for why Africa’s candidate should be considered for the top shot, noting that the need for Africa to get a better deal in the world trading system should be a major criterion in selecting the next WTO DG. He also believed that correcting this negatively skewed trade deal will help tackle poverty and underdevelopment in Africa.
The dynamics of world trade are rigged against Africa, keeping the continent poor and undeveloped. In this piece for Project Syndicate @ProSyn I make a strong case for why Africa’s candidate, @NOIweala, should be selected as the next Director-general of @wto https://t.co/G4Fyxd1z91
— Kingsley Moghalu (@MoghaluKingsley) October 26, 2020
What you should know
Nairametrics had earlier reported that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee have emerged as the last two candidates for the top WTO job.
Prof. Moghalu also disclosed that the final selection decision is expected this week or very early next week.
Prof. Moghalu said, “The dynamics of world trade are rigged against Africa, keeping the continent poor and undeveloped. In this piece for Project Syndicate @ProSyn, I make a strong case for why Africa’s candidate, @NOIweala, should be selected as the next Director-General of @wto.
“The final selection decision is expected this week or very early next. Alongside the case for why the African candidate Okonjo-Iweala is best placed to lead WTO, I make the case for the continent more broadly as to how and why it must get a better deal in the world trading system.”
What this means
If finally selected for the top job, the opportunity will present Dr. Okonjo the platform to solve some global trade-related issues, one of which is Africa’s trade position with the rest of the world.