COVID-19 survey: 85% of businesses say there is reduction in income flow

The impact of the COVID-19 is bringing untold hardship to households and businesses, with 85 per cent of businesses, outside agriculture saying there has been significant reduction in income flow., according a report a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in collaboration with the World Bank.
The World Bank in May 2020 launched a series of high-frequency phone surveys in selected Sub-Saharan African countries including Nigeria to better understand governments’ responses to COVID-19 and the socio-economic impacts on households. This week the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) published its findings from the COVID-19 National Longitudinal Phone Survey (COVID-19 NLPS) between April 20 and May 11, 2020, in collaboration with the World Bank . The survey assessed the impacts of COVID-19 using a sample of 1,950 households across five (5) metrics – knowledge and concerns about COVID-19 transmission, employment and livelihood, access to basic needs, safety net & coping and education.
Also, 73.0 per cent in the agriculture sector said the the same, and 58.0 per cent in wage employment.
“Broadly, the pandemic directly affected workers in all economic sectors with the commerce, services and agriculture sectors being the most impacted”, said the NBS. The survey also showed that 35-59 per cent of households were unable to purchase much needed basic food items such as yam, rice and beans, while 26 per cent of household’s had no access to medical treatment.
“We believe weaker access to food and healthcare services could be due to weaker incomes and social distancing measures. Indeed, findings from the survey revealed that economic shocks from COVID-19 have been more severe than in the past three years.
In this regard, 85.0 per cent of households reported rising price of food items compared with 19 per cent between January 2017 and January 2019”, said the NBS.
It said, it is unsurprising as 46 per cent of households reported that farming/business inputs were higher, 36.0 per cent reported the closure of non-farm businesses and 29 per cent reported disruption to farming activities. Due to these severe shocks, households had to resort to coping mechanisms, with 51 per cent reducing food consumption and 29 per cent drawing down savings.
The findings from the survey are unsurprising given the harsh measures enforced to contain the spread of COVID-19. As we earlier reported, lockdowns disrupted supply chains and businesses in the large informal sector were most affected. Unlike in advanced economies that imposed similar economic restrictions, there was no reprieve for households and businesses in Nigeria. The stimulus measures adopted by fiscal and monetary policymakers were negligible relative to the size of the economy, neither were the support measures disbursed with the urgency needed to support household consumption and ensure business survival.
Regarding employment, 42.0 per cent of respondents reported losing jobs due to COVID-19 while 79.0 per cent reported a reduction in income.

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