Around 20% of workers in Nigeria have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19, according to the government’s statistics office, outlining the impact of the pandemic on businesses in Africa’s most populous nation.
The National Bureau of Statistics and the United Nations Development Program surveyed nearly 3,000 businesses in the formal and informal sectors in Nigeria. In March, the NBS said a third of Nigeria’s workers were out of a job in the fourth quarter of 2020, a situation worsened by the pandemic.
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 West African nation’s 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% of government revenues.