NOIPolls Annual Independence Day Snap Poll Report 2014

Abuja, Nigeria. September 30th, 2014 – The yearly Independence Day Special Edition Poll results released by NOIPolls Limited have revealed that the true identity of Nigerians (90%) first lies in being Nigerian than as members of various Nigerian tribes. This sense of identity is further displayed by the declarations on the lovable attributes of the country Nigeria where a higher percentage of respondents affirmed they love the‘Unity of the nation’ when asked what they love most about the country Nigeria.  The Independence Day poll has also established that most Nigerians remember  the 1960 independence day either through personal experiences  or through the preservation and sharing of history.   A significant aspect of the memory of the independence day in 1960 is centered around “Liberation, Freedom, and Independence”, where some respondents reported directly that they remember the independence day as ‘a day which marks Nigeria’s liberation from slave trade; from colonial masters’, moreover, some Nigerians remembered  ‘the display of the formal ceremony, fireworks and the raising of the Nigerian flag’. A view of the perception of Nigerians on the amalgamation of Nigeriarevealed that most Nigerians (70%) believe the country has fared better as one nation since 1960, on the contrary, 30% of Nigerians believe Nigeria would have fared better as seperate entities.  More findings from the Independence Day poll revealed that, Democracy’ continues to remain the greatest achievement of Nigeria since Independence as indicated by the highest proportion of respondents in 2014(19%) and in 2013 (22%). While telecommunications was given priority as the second greatest achievement in 2013, Unity of the Nation is of more importance as an achievement in these present times. Given these achievements, Nigerians have also reported ‘Security’ (32%)  as an issue of priority which needs to be addressed in the next one year. Corruption’ and Job creation (which has consistently gained the attention of Nigerians even in the past years) are other top issues to be addressed in 2014 amongst others. These were some of the key findings from the 54thIndependence Day Special Edition Poll conducted in the week ofSeptember 22nd 2014.

Brief Background

The Amalgamation of the British protectorates in 1914 and the subsequent Independence of the nation in 1960 has been very symbolic in the history of Nigeria.  On the 1st of October 1960, the sovereign rights of the Nigerian nation seized by the British were eventually recovered and welcomed with great joy by the Nigerian people. Since then, 1st October has been celebrated annually to mark the independence of a people that had been under decades of colonial rule. October 1, 2014 marks Nigeria’s 54th Independence celebration, and as usual, the Nigerian people have their views on various topics that affect the nation. 

Against this background, NOIPolls conducted its third yearly Independence poll to seek the perceptions of Nigerians regarding the Nigerian Independence, their level of Patriotism, and Nation-building.  The survey was administered over the telephone using a well-structured questionnaire,  which was delivered in the five major languages; English, Pidgin English, Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa. Respondents were asked eight specific questions, key findings from six of these questions are discussed below.  Read entire report here

Key Findings

With the aim of exploring the sense of Identity of Nigerians, respondents were asked: When you think of your self, do you first consider yourself as a Nigerian or as a member of a Nigerian tribe? Results show most Nigerians (90%) think of themselves first as Nigerians before they consider themselves as a member of a tribe (10%). This was true across gender, geo-political zones and age-groups. However,  a considerable proportion of Nigerians from the North-West (15%) and the South-West  (13%) zones are more inclined to be first identified as members of their tribe before being considered as Nigerians; the same applies for 18% of  the 46-60 years age-group.

 

Subsequently respondents were asked: In your own words, what do you love most about the country Nigeria? In exploring the lovable traits of Nigeria as a country, findings revealed that  Nigerians mostly love the‘Unity of the nation’  as indicated by 17% of the respondents. The Natural resources which Nigeria is blessed with and the distinct variety of culture are other top attributes Nigerians love about the country Nigeria as revealed by 11% and 9% of the respondents respectively.

A considerable proportion of Nigerians indicated ‘Freedom’ (8%) as an attribute which they love about Nigeria, further highlighting the appreciation of  Nigeria’s independence as a nation.

 

With the aim of evaluating how knowledgeable Nigerians are on the independence day, respondents were asked:What do you remember from the history of Nigeria about the 1960 independence day? This question was made open ended and  responses revealed that the memories of most (46%) Nigerians about the independence day were  mainly centered on  ‘Liberation, Freedom, and Independence’ , where some of the respondents mainly remembered  the independence as a day  ‘which marks Nigeria’s liberation from slave trade’, others as  ‘liberation from colonial masters’. Moreover, some Nigerians rememberd  ‘the display of the formal ceremony, fireworks and the raising of the Nigerian flag’. Also in the memory of some Nigerians about the independence day were ‘Past Heroes in Nigeria’, as well as  “Unity and Love among past Leaders” (9% each). 

While it has been established that Nigerians have a memory of the independence day either through personal experiences  or the preservation and sharing of history knowledge,   it is worth noting that a significant proportion of the population (31%) revealed they do not know or cannot remember anything from the history of Nigeria about the 1960 Independence Day. This population had a larger female population (36%) than male population (26%) and a younger age catergory 18-21 (48%). Furthermore, a majority of the North-West residents (44%) also indicated they do not know/cannot remember much from the history of Nigeria about the 1960 Independence Day.

The South-East region and the 46-60 year age category had the highest proportion across all categories of respondents, 72% and 64% respectively, who remembered Liberation, Freedom, and Independence from the history of Nigeria about the 1960 Independence Day. The 61+ year age category were the highest proportion that remembered Unity and Love among past leaders.

 

Furthermore respondents were asked: In your opinion, do you think Nigeria has fared better as one Nation since 1960? Findings revealed that majority of adult Nigerians (70%) believe the country has fared better as one nation since 1960, this perception was highest among Nigerians aged 18-21 (91%) and 46-60 (81%), but lowest among those aged 61 and above (50%).

On the contrary, 30% of Nigerians responded negatively, revealing their perception that Nigeria would have fared better as seperate entities, as was before the amalgamation. The highest proportion of the respondents with this perception were mainly from the South-South (43%) the South-West (35%) zones.

 

The perception of Nigerians on Nigeria’s greatest achievement since independence was also measured, to this effect, respondents were asked: At 54 years what do you consider to be the greatest achievement of Nigeria? The chart below which illustrates a two year (2013 and 2014) trend on this question reveals that ‘Democracy’  remains the greatest achievement in Nigeria as indicated by the highest proportion of respondents in 2014 (19%) and  in 2013 (22%).

Two other great achievements which have been consistently mentioned in both years under review were ‘Unity of the nation’ and  ‘Telecommunications’. While ‘Telecommunications’ (19%) was given priority as the second greatest achievement in 2013, current results revealed that ‘Unity of the nation’ (15%)is seen as a greater achievement above telecommuniucation. In this light, perceptions could have been affected by the ability of the nation to withstand several security challenges over the past year.

 

In order to evaluate the high priority issues facing Nigeria, respondents were asked: What is the single most important issue Nigeria as a nation should address in the next one year? The chart below which illustrates a 3-year trend on this question revealed that in 2014 Nigerians (32%) consider security  as an issue of priority which needs to be addressed in the next one year amongst several other issues. This is no suprise, given the current state of security of the nation.

Corruption (17%) and Job creation (11%) are two other top issues to be addressed after security as indicated by a considerable proportion of Nigerians in 2014. These issues seem to have consistently gained the attention of Nigerians even in the past years (2012 and 2013).

While electricity was considered as a top priority in 2012, concentration on it as an issue of priority declined slightly (1-point) in 2013 and by a considerably margin (8-points) in 2014. This perception may have been affected by noticeable improvement in power supply to households (see NOIPolls Power Tracking)[1] and even in the steps taken towards tansforming the power sector as a whole.


[1] http://www.noi-polls.com/index.php?s_id=3&p_id=348&p_pt=1&parent=13#.VCl-A3kg_IU

 

In conclusion, findings from the Independence Day poll have revealed that most Nigerians (90%) think of themselves first as Nigerians before they consider themselves as a member of a tribe (10%) and  when asked what they love most about the country Nigeria, majority indicated  they love the ‘Unity of the nation’ (17%)most. The Natural resources which Nigeria is blessed with  and the dinstinct variety of culture are top other attributes Nigerians love about the country Nigeria as revealed by 11% and 9% of the respondents respectively. An assessment on the level of knowledge Nigerians have on the Independence Day  revealed that most Nigerians (46%)  remember ‘Liberation, Freedom, and Independence’‘Past Heroes in Nigeria’ (9%), as well as ‘Unity and Love among past Leaders’ (9%) from the history of Nigeria about the Independence Day. More findings from the poll revealed that majority of adult Nigerians (70%) believe the country has fared better as one nation since 1960. In an evaluation of the greatest achievement of Nigeria since 1960, ‘Democracy’ was highlighted as the greatest achievement of Nigeria since Independence as indicated by the highest proportion of respondents in 2014 (19%) in 2013 (22%). Finally a view on  the issues facing Nigeria which needs to be addressed  revealed‘Security’ (32%)  as an issue of priority which needs to be addressed in the next one year. ‘Corruption’ and and ‘Job creation’ are other top issues to be addressed in 2014 amongst several others.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week of September 23rd  to 24th 2014. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. 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%. NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa, works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA), to conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published.

NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.

 

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