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20% of Nigeria’s workers lost jobs in 2020 – NBS

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At least two of 10 employed Nigeria lost their jobs last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, a study by the National Bureau of Statistics has shown.

This study, it said on Tuesday, was conducted in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The report, which centred on the impact of COVID-19 on business enterprises in Nigeria, interviewed almost 3,000 businesses from the formal and informal sectors across major industries.

According to the report, the pandemic affected the nation’s workforce and caused an increase in the unemployment rate — moving from 27 percent to 33 percent between Q2 2020 and Q4 2020.

The report read in part, “While there have been promising signs of recovery this year, COVID-19 has had an outsized socio-economic impact on Nigeria.

“Businesses resorted to laying off employees to survive, and shutdowns of enterprises severed crucial livelihood lines for households that depended on them for income, coupled with the lack of new business opportunities and reduction in capital investment further limiting new job prospects.

“Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the median full-time staff strength of formal and informal enterprises stood at 12 and five, respectively.

“During the pandemic, these figures declined and stood at ten and four for formal and informal enterprises, respectively. Across the sample, this results in 20 percent of the initial full-time workforce losing their jobs during this period.

“Among the formal enterprises, this figure is slightly higher at 21 per cent compared to 15 per cent among informal enterprises.”

The report added that while 58 per cent of businesses maintained staff strength, 28 per cent lost up to 50 per cent of their initial workforce, with the remaining 14 per cent losing more than 50 per cent of their initial workforce.

It added that the informal enterprises were more affected, resulting in 62 per cent of the total job losses.

At the unveiling of the report, the NBS boss, Simon Harry, said the survey results were very important as they contained important information that could guide policymakers in their interventions to mitigate the negative socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 in the country.

Nigerian UNDP Resident Representative, Mohamed Yahya, said that the report findings highlighted the complex challenges the economy had continued to face because of COVID-19.

He said that it also raises awareness into the ramifications of the pandemic on the business environment in Nigeria, including its impact on production, sales, revenues and the labour force, with details that were far more granular than were normally available and offering critical insight into where interventions should be targeted

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Don’t link your SIM card with another person’s NIN, NCC warns

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The Nigerian Communications Commission has warned telecom consumers not allow their National Identification Number to be linked to another person’s Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card no matter how close the person is to them.

The commission gave the warning during its third Telecom Consumer Town Hall on Radio (TCTHR) programme on Human Rights Radio 101.1FM in Abuja.

The event was hosted on the platform: “NCC Digital Signature on Radio”, a statement by the NCC stated on Tuesday.

The NCC Digital Signature on Radio is the flagship radio programme of the commission created to educate the general public on the mandate of the commission and for sharing salient, consumer-centric and up-to-date information on how the NCC is delivering on this mandate.

Speaking during the radio programme, focused on: “The Benefits of NIN-SIM Integration”, NCC’s Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Efosa Idehen, said, “On no account should a telecom consumer, however, circumstanced, allow another person to register a SIM with their NIN.”

Idehen said compliance with the advice would protect the true owner of the NIN from liabilities or negative consequences arising from the use of another person’s SIM.

He said, “If the person whose SIM is linked to your line uses his own SIM to commit a crime or any form of atrocity, it is easy to be traced to you, and then you will be dealt with because the SIM is linked to your NIN.”

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Lagos threatens to suspend NURTW, RTEAN over clashes

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The Lagos State Government has threatened to suspend operations of transport unions in the Mile 2 area of the state should they continue to clash.

Three people reportedly died during a bloody clash last week on the Mile 2 and Amuwo Odofin axis between the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria and the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Amuwo division.

Responding to the violence, the Lagos State Government on Tuesday brokered peace between the warring factions in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Oluwatoyin Fayinka, stated that the state government would deal with the case after the police had concluded their investigation and presented the report of the crisis.

He noted that multiple levies on truckers by the unions around the axis had been the cause the dispute.

Fayinka warned the unions to beware of infiltrators as this would soil their reputation and lead to an abrupt end of the activities by the state government as the safety of lives and properties is first and sacrosanct.

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Port congestion: Relocate overtime cargos, Customs urges NPA

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The Nigeria Customs Service has advised the Nigerian Ports Authority to move all overtime cargos from the terminal to reduce congestion.

This advice was given bythe Apapa Area Command of the NCS, noting that the transfer of overtime cargos from the ports to the government warehouse in Ikorodu was the responsibility of the NPA.

Cargos are classified as overtime when they stay in the ports for 28 days without the importer or clearing agent coming up to clear them.

Managing Director of the NPA, Muhammed Bello-Koko, had recently said there were over 5,000 overtime containers across the nation’s seaports taking up space for new imports.

Bello- Koko, who spoke during an interactive session organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Customs, had asked the Service to auction the overtime containers to decongest the nation’s seaports.

The NCS Controller of Apapa, Yusuf Malanta, who spoke when he received executive members of the Shipping Correspondents Association of Nigeria in his office, said it required a lot in terms of logistics and financial commitment to move overtime cargos from the port to the government warehouse in Ikorodu.

According to him, there were currently about 500 overtime containers, including import and export, at the Apapa port, and that it would cost an average of N600,000 to move each of the containers from the port to Ikorodu – a cost which he said the command was not ready to bear.

The customs boss explained that there were also laid-down procedures for the disposal of overtime cargoes that must be followed before they are auctioned, to avoid litigation.

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