Agriculture, biggest employer of labour in Nigeria

Farmers will be sensitised at the World Bank Alternative Energy workshop scheduled to hold for five days.

A General Household Survey of Nigeria shows that the agriculture sector is the largest employer of labour and income-generating activity in Nigeria.

The study, which contains information on household socio- economics in the country, was launched by the World Bank Living Standards Measurement Study in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday in Abuja.

An Economist of the World Bank Dr Amparo Polacios-Lopez, giving highlights of the study, said work in a household non-farm enterprises and external wage employment account for the rest kind of employment in Nigeria.

“Findings show that in the education sector, school enrollment among children aged five to 14 increased from 78.3 per cent in 2013 to 81.2 per cent in 2016.

“Access to electricity has gone up with 59.3 per cent of households having electricity in their dwellings with an average availability of 35.8 hours per week.

“Also, 88.9 per cent of Nigerians from the age of 10 have mobile phones while only 17.4 per cent have access to the internet.

“The main shocks to many households is the increase in the price of food items, increasing price of inputs and death or disability of a household member,” she said.

According to the report, the most commonly consumed food in many Nigerian homes are vegetables, grains and flours, and fat and oil, followed by meat, fish and other animal products.

Interestingly, food expenditure is highest for meat, fish and other animal products with a weekly expenditure averaging N1,359.

Also, for non-food items, the survey shows that Nigerians spend a lot on funerals, marriage ceremony, dowry payments and mattresses.

The World Bank Nigeria Country Director, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, said the survey would give the Federal Government an opportunity to see how its policies affected families.

Benmessaoud, represented by the Bank’s Country Programme Coordinator, Mrs Indira Konjhodzic, also urged the government to monitor the execution of the Sustainable Development Goals in the country.

Meanwhile, the Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale, said that the survey would be extremely useful to the present administration in its planning.

“This year, there has been growing interest in economics statistics, given the nation’s GDP growth rates and the increasing double-digit inflation rates.

“The questions are the same, how are households affected? What sectors are improving, which ones are regressing? When will the tides turn? Everyone wants to know when things will improve or where they can invest.

“There have been a lot of changes this year for Nigeria, and more than ever, people are turning to statistics for the way forward.

” For us at NBS, we are pleased that all our hard work is finally being taken notice of and more importantly, is being put to use,” he said