Specifically, results of the latest ‘Household Economy Survey’ by Philips Consulting showed that the prevailing economic situation in the country has resulted in detrimental effect on the economic security of most citizens and households.
According to the report, the severe drop in crude oil prices, decline in government revenue, devaluation of the Naira and surging inflation rates, in addition to the country’s high poverty (70per cent) and unemployment (12.1per cent) rates have had a detrimental effect on the economic security of most citizens and households.
The survey, which assesses the socio-economic state of Nigerian households to determine the proportion of vulnerable households in the country, revealed that over half, 51 per cent of its 5,747 respondents considered their households to be either mildly, moderately or severely food insecure, while over 31 per cent of respondents stated that their households had experienced food insecurity for a few months within the past year.
The report showed that food was also rated as the highest household expenditure by over half (53per cent) of respondents, far ahead of other expenditures such as shelter (15per cent) and transportation (10per cent).
The current inflation rate of over 16per cent and the sharp increase in the prices of imported food (due to the difficulties experienced by importers in securing foreign exchange) have had a large negative effect on consumers, affecting their access to different food items.
Already, recent market survey showed that the rise in consumer price index, fuel price and the harsh economic climate has affected the prices of consumer goods by over 50 per cent.
The nationwide survey, which was carried out between May and June 2016, with a focus on assessing the following four main areas of household economic stability: food security; health and education; household finance (income and expenditure); and household assets, defined food security as the physical and economic access to adequate amounts of safe and nutritious food.
“The survey further demonstrated that there is a strong relationship between food insecurity and household size; larger households were more prone to food insecurity. 38per cent of households consisting of between 11- 15 people stated that they experience food insecurity most months, in comparison to the 23per cent of respondents with 6 – 10 household members.