Almost half of those employed have lost their jobs due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the World Bank has said.

The bank put the percentage of individuals who were working before March, but now out of employment at 42.

Its Senior Financial Sector Specialist, Ahmed Rostom, shared the information in a data during a Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) virtual conference on risk sharing.

The panellists agreed that credit risk guarantee will provide a safety net for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to access credit post COVID-19.

Speaking on the impact of the pandemic on the local economy, Rostom stated: “42% of individuals who were working before March 2020, especially those working in hospitality and service industry are no longer working.”

He described the situation as disturbing.

The panellists agreed that MSME’s are the largest employers of labour as they account for about 84 per cent of jobs in the country.

“They are important industrialisation agents, and a driving force in the attainment of industrial growth because of their value chain diversification and expansion of industrial production. They contribute nearly half of the country’s GDP at 48 per cent yet less than 5 per cent of MSME’s have access to finance,” they said.

– The Nation

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