Security and Job Creation; Top Key Issues Nigerians Want the President to Focus On In 2015

Abuja, Nigeria. January 13th, 2015 The Annual New Year Special Edition Snap Poll conducted by NOIPolls revealed that most Nigerians (81%) indicated they experienced enjoyable holidays over Christmas and New Year and this proportion has increased over the past 3 years.   In addition, most Nigerians stayed back at their respective places of residence to enjoy the Christmas and New Year holidays instead of travelling. However, the reverse was the case for the larger proportion of the South-East residents who utilized the holidays to travel to various locations (69%). This probably stimulated a more positive experience as 61% of South East residents confirmed their holiday was very enjoyable.

Given the general increase in prices of goods and services which mostly characterizes festive periods in Nigeria, the slight majority (52%) of Nigerians who travelled for the festive holidays reported a rise in the cost of transportation; although this was a slight decline in the proportion of Nigerians who were affected by this from the previous year 2014. Also the larger proportion of Nigerians (69%) who travelled reported an improvement in the roads when asked to evaluate their experiences with the Nigerian roads during their journey; this however indicates a 6-point decline from 2014.

In an assessment of the state of security across the country during the holidays, most Nigerians reported the environment where they spent the holidays as ‘peaceful and secure’, although a considerable proportion of the North-East residents considered their environment ‘peaceful but not secure’ and ‘tense and insecure’ during the holiday.

Finally, in areas for focus by the President in 2015, most Nigerians would like the President to focus on‘Security’ especially in the North East region, followed by ‘Job Creation’ and ‘Electricity’. While Job Creation was top priority to Nigerians in 2013 and 2014, Security has become paramount for Nigerians given its current state and ill effect in the nation.

Survey Background and Objectives

The New Year celebration in Nigeria is one of the most important and prominently celebrated events in the country often characterized by diverse activities such as the Lagos State Countdown which ushered in the New Year. One would clearly draw a precise picture of the rich heritage, culture, custom and tradition of the country during the time of New Year.[1][1]

While Nigerians ushered in 2015 with great excitement and optimism as well as resolutions to be better individuals, great expectations also lies in the government to focus on key areas to create desired socio-economic changes that would stimulate development of the nation as well as affect the lives of the citizens positively while making the year a remarkable one. One of which would generally be in the aspect of security given its current state in the country especially in the Northeast zone.[2][2]

Against this background, NOIPolls conducted its Annual New Year Special Edition Snap Poll to explore the experiences of Nigerians during the Christmas and New Year holidays, as well as gauge their expectations for 2015. This is the third in the series of New Year polls following those conducted in 2013 and 2014.

Survey Methodology

The New Year opinion poll involving telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample was conducted in the week of January 6th 2015. Proportionate random sampling was used to select 1,000 phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 3%.  The interviews were conducted in English, Pidgin English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba in order to reduce non-response bias in the sample.

Survey Results

Respondents to the poll were asked six specific questions and this section presents detailed survey findings from these questions.

Festive Season Experience

With the aim of exploring the experiences of Nigerians during the festive season, respondents were asked: In general, how would you describe your Christmas and New Year holiday? Findings revealed the majority of Nigerians 81% (43%+38%) enjoyed the Christmas and New Year holiday describing it as either very enjoyable or enjoyable. This cuts across all regions and age-groups as shown in figure 1 with  the South-East zone  having   the largest proportion of residents that confirmed their holiday was very enjoyable (61%).

In addition, 12% of Nigerians reported their holiday was okay and 7% (6%+1%) indicated it was not enjoyable with the South-South accounting for the largest proportion of respondents in this category (10%).

 

 

Trend analysis reveals that the proportion of Nigerians that experienced an enjoyable Christmas and New Year holiday has increased steadily over the 3 year period to 81% in 2015 compared to 79% in 2014 and 62% in2013.

 

Travelling During the Christmas and New Year Holidays

Next, respondents were asked: Did you travel for the Christmas and New Year holidays? Responses show that most Nigerians did not travel during the holidays (64%) while 36% confirmed they traveled to various locations during the festive holidays which witnessed a high proportion of residents from the South –East zone (69%) confirming they had travelled.

Furthermore, there was a 7-point increase in the proportion of Nigerians who travelled during the festive holidays (36%) as opposed to 29% who had indicated they had plans to travel as revealed in the NOIPolls Annual Special End of Year poll.[1][3] 

Similarly, a 3-year trend revealed a 6-point drop in the proportion of Nigerians that travelled during the 2015festive season compared with the previous year 2014.

 

Transportation Cost during the Holidays

Festive periods in Nigeria are generally characterized by increases in the prices of goods and services and to assess if this was the case for the cost of transportation, respondents who travelled during the festive holidays(36% of the total) were asked: Did you experience any increase in the cost of transportation during the holidays? Findings revealed that slightly more than half of Nigerians (52%) who traveled during the festive holidays experienced an increase in the cost of transportation. Again this was mostly experienced by residents of the South-East region as a higher proportion of Nigerians in this region travelled during the holidays.

Further analysis by age revealed that respondents aged 18-29 years reported an increase in the cost of transportation during the festive holidays more than any other age-group.

 

Trend analysis revealed a slight 3-point decline in the proportion of Nigerians who reported they experienced an increase in the cost of transportation during the 2014/2015 festive holidays compared with the previous year.

 

State Of Nigerian Roads

With the aim of evaluating the current state of Nigerian roads, respondents who travelled (36% of the total) were further asked: Compared to previous years, how would you describe the state of Nigerian roads while travelling for the holiday? Survey findings revealed that the larger share of Nigerians that travelled (40%) indicated that the state of Nigerian roads has ‘Improved a little’ compared to previous years.  On the other hand, 29% of Nigerians indicated that the roads has ‘improved very much’ while 15% of Nigerians claimed that ‘There’s no difference at all’ on the roads.

Analyzing by age-group, the majority of Nigerians who are of the opinion that Nigerian roads ‘has improved a little’ were within the age bracket 61 years and above. Also, respondents that are of the opinion the roads have improved very much were mostly within the ages 30-45 years. Also, the majority of Nigerians that consider the roads as ‘very bad’ or ‘no difference at all’ in its state compared to the preceding years are within the age bracket 18-21 years and 46-60 years respectively.

Meanwhile, analyzing by geo-political zone, South-West has the highest proportion of Nigerians who consider the roads to have improved very much. While North-west has the largest percentage of Nigerians that believe the Nigerian road has remained bad since the previous years.

 

Trend analysis on the state of Nigerian roads reveals the proportion of Nigerians who indicated the roads to have improved very much increased by 16-points in 2014 and declined by 2-points in 2015. Similarly, this applies to the proportion of Nigerians who indicated no difference at all on the state of Nigerian roads with a 7-pointsdecline in 2014 and a 4-points increase in 2015.

On the hand, the proportion of Nigerians who indicated the roads ‘have improved a little’ declined by 9-pointsin 2014 and further declined by 4-points in 2015. While, the proportion of Nigerians that indicated the roads have ‘remained bad’ compared to the previous years, increased by 4- points in 2014 and further increased by2-points in 2015. Meanwhile, the proportion of Nigerians who consider the state of the Nigerian roads as being‘very bad or has gone worse’ declined by 4-points in 2014 and has remained stable till date. This findings therefore indicates that while there was significant improvement on the Nigerian roads from 2013 to 2014, there has little or no improvement in their current state

 

State of Security across Nigeria during the Festive Holiday

With the aim of assessing the security state of Nigerians’ residence, respondents were asked: How would you describe the state of security where you spent the Holiday? Findings from the survey revealed that most Nigerians (85%) found the location where they spent the holidays ‘peaceful and secure’. Furthermore, 10%indicated that their environment was ‘peaceful but not secure’while 5% described it as ‘tense and insecure’.

Across the geo-political zones, the North-Central has the largest proportion of Nigerians who indicated having a ‘peaceful and a secure’ environment during the holiday (96%).  Meanwhile, North-East has the largest proportion of residents that indicated having a ‘peaceful but not secure’ environment (22%) and those that indicated it was a ‘tense and insecure’ (14%).

Trend analysis on the state of security reveals a 15-points increase in 2014 and a slight 2-points decline in2015 in the number of Nigerians who indicated having a ‘peaceful and secure’ environment during the holiday. In general, this implies that most Nigerians still believe that their environment is ‘peaceful and secure’ even though the proportion of Nigerians dropped slightly in 2015.

Meanwhile, the proportion of Nigerians that indicated having a ‘peaceful but not secure’ environment declined by 11-points in 2014, and further declined by 1-point in 2015. In addition to this, the number of Nigerians that claimed to have a ‘tense and insecure’ environment during the holiday dropped by 3-points in 2014 and then increased by 3-points in 2015.

 

Key Areas Nigerians want the President to Focus On

In a bid to ascertain the opinion of the public on the key areas that needs to be focused on in 2015, respondents were asked: What are the three key areas you would like the President to focus his attention to this year 2015?  Survey findings revealed that the 3 key areas Nigerians would like the president to focus on are ‘Security’(25%), followed by ‘Job creation’ (15%) and ‘Electricity’ (13%). Across geo-political zones, the northern region particularly the North-East, has the highest proportion of Nigerians that indicated ‘security’ as a key area the President needs to focus on in 2015. This is not surprising considering the spate of terrorist attacks in North –East  region towards the end of 2014. Also, North-East zone has the highest proportion of Nigerians that indicated ‘Electricity’ as a key area that needs attention. On the other hand, South-South residents indicated‘Job Creation’ as an area that needs the President’s attention.

 

Yearly trend analysis on the key areas the government needs to focus attention on reveals that while ‘Job creation’ and Electricity were of priority to Nigerians in 2013 and 2014, ‘Security’ has become paramount for Nigerians  in 2015 due its current state and ill effects in the nation. Though ‘Job creation’ and ‘Electricity are still of great importance to Nigerians in 2015, however attention on these have decreased over the years.

 

Conclusion

The Annual New Year Special Edition Poll released by NOIPolls revealed that most Nigerians (81%) enjoyed the festive holidays.  A three (3)-year trend analysis revealed that more Nigerians reported they experienced an enjoyable Christmas and New Year holiday in 2015 (81%) than in 2014 (79%). More findings revealed that most (64%) Nigerians did not travel during the festive holidays while 36% of Nigerians especially South-East residents (69%) confirmed they traveled to various locations during the festive holidays.  The slight majority of Nigerians who travelled for the festive holidays reported an increase in the cost of transportation; they also reported an improvement in Nigerian roads. Furthermore findings from the poll revealed that most Nigerians found the environment where they spent the holidays very ‘peaceful and secure’.  Though, the North-East region has the largest proportion of residents that indicated ‘peaceful but not secure’ and ‘tense and insecure’environments during the holiday. Finally, an assessment of the key areas of focus for the President revealed that most Nigerians would like the President to focus on ‘Security’ especially in theNorth-East region, followed by‘Job Creation’ and ‘Electricity’ in 2015.