About 30 per cent of households in Nigeria experienced severe food insecurity in June, a new report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) states.
NBS said it interviewed 1,820 households and the data collected are representative at the national level.
The data was recorded after the National Longitudinal Phone Survey (NLPS) on the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 on Nigerian households was conducted.
The survey is the second of a planned 12-phased COVID-19 NLPS on Nigerian households.
The data office reports that the food security situation in Nigeria has worsened since the onset of the global pandemic as a result of inadequate finances and other underlying factors.
The incidence of severe food insecurity in June 2020 was almost three times higher than that of July/August 2018.
It was also almost six times higher than that of January/February 2019, the report says.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had predicted pre-COVID-19 that 4.02 million people in Nigeria would suffer acute food insecurity.
NBS in the report, however, stated that there has been no significant improvement in terms of access to financial aid or other forms of support.
“Moreover, 77% of households interviewed in June reported moderate or severe food insecurity.
“There has not been any significant improvement in safety nets or other sources of income assistance from institutions and/or remittances,” the report reads in part.
For households involved in farming businesses, 38% had to modify their farming plans.
Out of the 38%, 52% reduced the area they planted, 30% planted crops that took less time to mature while 25% reported delayed planting time.
Also according to the report, there was virtually no change in the provision of safety nets in June. 13% of the interviewed households reported having received food assistance while 2% received direct cash transfer.
The percentage of households that received remittances within the country also dropped from 22% to 18%.