James Emejo in Abuja
Over 68.5 per cent of households own the houses they dwell in compared to 16.6 per cent of households who live in rented homes, a new survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed.
It further showed that although 63.6 per cent of households live in homes with three or more rooms, the quality of the building materials remained poor.
It added that countrywide, more than 59.3 per cent of households have electricity for an average of 35.8 hours per week, of which 86 per cent of urban households have access to electricity compared to only 41.1 per cent of rural households.
The report, Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) Integrated Surveys on Agriculture General Household Survey Panel 2015/2016, is a publication by the NBS in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the World Bank.
It seeks to among other things, develop an innovative model for collecting agricultural data, inter-institutional collaboration, and comprehensive analysis of welfare indicators and socio-economic characteristics.
Essentially, the GHS-Panel is a nationally representative survey of 5,000 households, which are also representative of the geopolitical zones (at both the urban and rural levels).
The report stated that rudimentary farm implements, including hoes and cutlasses, are considerably more common than modern tools such as tractors and pickup trucks.
The survey, which also collected information on households’ access to information and communication technology (ICT) and patterns of usage, found that about 89 per cent of Nigerians have access to a mobile phone, adding that access to the internet was more prevalent in urban areas than in rural areas – the most common uses being to send and receive emails.
On consumption patterns, it stated that oil and fat products along with grains and flours are the most commonly consumed food items with over 96 per cent of households consuming food items in these groups.
The survey also showed that soap and mobile recharge cards are the most common non-food items consumed by households, with close to nine out of 10 households reporting soap purchases and 78.3 per cent reporting expenditures on recharge cards.
Essentially, mobile recharge cards accounted for the highest national mean expenditure, with a monthly average household expenditure of N17,413.
The report added: “Households were also asked about their experience with food security and their history of economic shocks. Similar to findings in Wave 2, reported food shortages from this wave are seasonal, with January and February posing the biggest risk of food insecurity.
“Twenty-six per cent of households reported having to reduce the number of meals taken in the past seven days, with urban households more likely to have reduced their meal intake than rural households (29.8% versus 24.1%).
“Major shocks that negatively affected households include: increase in the price of food items (12.4%), death or disability of a working household member (5.7%), increase in the price of inputs (3.6%), and non-farm enterprise failure (3.1%).
“The most common coping mechanisms reported included receipt of assistance from family and friends (24%) and reduction in food consumption (23.6%).”