Nigerians are increasingly concerned about the coronavirus situation and its implications on life and the economy.
This unease is evident in latest Kantar report which indicates that about 150 million Nigerians out of about 200 million population are afraid of national financial breakdown followed by economic recession and hardship occasioned by Covid-19.
The increasing fear negates the earlier confidence expressed in some markets, including Nigeria that their economy will recover quickly once the Covid-19 situation dies down.
In a survey conducted by Kantar mid-March, this year, China with 67% was more optimistic of economic re-bound followed by Nigeria with 58%. Saudi Arabia came third with 49%. South Africa 32% and Spain was less optimistic with 20% of economic recovery after Covid-19. The survey had polled 25,000 consumers across over 30 countries.
But the latest survey says almost three-quarter of Nigerians (74%) are fearful of a national financial breakdown followed by an economic recession.
Kantar in this second wave of study conducted 500 interviews in Nigeria: through both mobile online and computer aided telephone interviewing (CATI). It also conducted two online focus groups discussions to elicit a deeper feel of consumer experiences, challenges and desires during this time. During the interview, it spoke to Nigerians in Lagos, South West, the Northern States, South East and South South geo-political zones of the country.
The present apprehension about financial uncertainty related to the lockdown is not helped by the fact that crude oil; Nigeria’s major source of foreign exchange is selling around $30 in the international oil markets, which is far below the projected $60 in the 2020 budget by the Federal Government of Nigeria, the report said.
“The majority of Nigerians earn a daily wage from informal activities. Unfortunately, they have not been able to fend for themselves and their families throughout the lockdown and this is the deepest concern that the people have today”.
Kantar further noted that the trust in national and international media agencies remains high at 70% while new media has seen growth from 60% to 80%; thus, lifting up non-traditional media to become mainstream.
“Engagement with social networks and other online platforms is ahead of TV in the short term for now as people seeking real-time information regarding the pandemic and essential information to either access relevant services or products or to entertain themselves as they while away time until the lockdown is lifted”. In the earlier report, it said traditional media still remains most trustworthy source of information for news consumers.
The coronavirus situation has compelled consumers to embrace all forms of online services as website and phone orders are purposefully done to maintain physical distance (30%). “In line with this, physical distancing is becoming a norm as more consumers are shopping less in physical outlets and avoiding the big malls (66%) and majority (70%) is opting for electronic payment options”.