COVID-19 Worsening Nigeria’s Food Crises- NBS

Yemisi Izuora

Nigeria’s food insecurity is facing more challenges following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), on Tuesday, September 8, revealed.

The agency disclosed that the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has worsened the food crisis in Lagos, Kano, Rivers, and Abuja.

This NBS analysis was contained in a report titled: ‘The Impact of COVID-19 in Kano, Lagos, Rivers, and FCT Abuja,’ on its website.

The study is the latest commentary on households’ responses to the coronavirus crisis in the key states of Kano, Lagos, Rivers, and Abuja and which can be benchmarked against pre-pandemic data from the 2018/2019 Nigerian Living Standard Survey.

It was conducted in collaboration with the World Bank Poverty Team.

“Food insecurity appears to be prevalent across all four states, but especially in Rivers and FCT Abuja where 79 per cent of households and 72 per cent of households respectively reported having to skip meals since the start of the pandemic.

“Households in all four states are drawing down their savings and borrowing money to cover their living expenses; which may leave them more economically vulnerable and reduce their investments in human capital in the future,” the NBS said.

The report, which also contains the results of the second quarter 2020 Labour Force Survey, observes that the proportion of people involved in economic activities in the 3 states and the FCT was lower in June/July 2020 than before the outbreak.

The FCT was the worst hit, with the share of people working down by 14 percentage points.

“Even if some people have resumed work, incomes may still be precarious; with larger shares of workers in Kano and Rivers engaged in agriculture; and a smaller share of workers in Lagos engaged in the industry than before the COVID-19 crisis,” the NBS said.

It stated that the Q2 Labour Force Survey was collated from 17th June to 8th July.

“Households in all four states are drawing down their savings and borrowing money to cover their living expenses; which may leave them more economically vulnerable; and reduce their investments in human capital in the future.

“More than 1 in 5 households in Kano and FCT Abuja; and more than 1 in 10 households in Lagos and Rivers reported violating containment measures; in order to maintain a living; emphasizing the trade-offs households face between earning incomes and protecting their health,” it added.

 

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