In April 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), with support from the World Bank, launched the COVID19 National Longitudinal Phone Survey (NLPS); a monthly survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,950 households to monitor the socio-economic impact of the pandemic and other shocks.
At the time of the tenth round of the NLPS – conducted February 6-22, 2021 – there were far fewer restrictions on activities and movement within the country.
This brief presents the main findings from the tenth round of the Nigeria COVID-19 NLPS. The tenth round built on the fifth round of the NLPS (implemented in September 2020), by once again collecting employment information from up to six working-age individuals (15-64 years
The share of working-age Nigerians who were working in February 2021 (70%) was only slightly lower than the share observed in September 2020 (72%), and much higher than the share observed in January/February 2019 (64%); this heightened labor supply was driven especially by women.
The share of workers engaged in commerce was higher in February 2021 (37% of workers) than in September 2020 (26% of workers) and in January/ February 2019 (27% of workers); this shift towards commerce was also concentrated among women.
The share of Nigerians deploying safe practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – including handwashing and mask-wearing – recovered in February 2021 compared to November 2020, following the second wave of COVID-19 cases in December 2020 and January 2021.
Around 65% of respondents reported being “very worried” about themselves or an immediate family member becoming seriously ill with COVID-19, with concerns being more widespread amongst respondents in lower consumption quintiles.
Some 83% of respondents reported that they would agree to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with respondents in lower consumption quintiles being the most willing to be vaccinated, although overall willingness to be vaccinated declined slightly; messaging around vaccines and monitoring their uptake will be crucial for supporting efforts to immunize Nigeria’s population.
The share of Nigerians who were working in February 2021 was close to 70%. The data show that the share of Nigerians who were working in February 2021 was only slightly lower than the share working in September 2020, and higher than the share working in January/ February 2019. In previous years, the share of people working fell significantly between the post-planting season (around July to September) and the post-harvest season (around January to March).
Yet in February 2021, 70% of working-age Nigerians (those aged 15-64 years) were working, only a little below the share (72%) observed in September 2020, and higher than the share observed in January/February 2019 (64%).
The share of people working in February 2021 was similar in urban and rural areas. The fact that the share of Nigerians working in February 2021 is higher than what was observed before the pandemic may be due to “an added worker” effect where households boost their overall labor supply to cope with negative economic shocks.