Nigerians are Optimistic about a Peaceful and Secure Environment During the 2014 Festive Period

Abuja, Nigeria. December 23rd, 2014 –  The Annual Special End of Year Poll results released by NOIPolls revealed that Nigerians (86%) reported that the environment in which they would be spending the holidays will be ’peaceful & secure’, even as they mostly remain confident (87%) in the ability of the state police command’s to respond to any security alert during this festive season. More findings revealed that the larger share of Nigerians (51%) will be ‘staying at home to relax’ during the end of year festive period while a considerable proportion ‘will be traveling’ (29%). However compared to the previous year (2013), the proportion of Nigerians that are staying home to relax or travelling has declined by 4-points and 3-points respectively. Furthermore, in 2014 there was a 6-points increase in the percentage of those that will continue to run their businesses during the festive period. Most Nigerians anticipate a general rise in prices during the festive period because activities that take place at the end of year typically require extra spending, however this perception has declined steadily from2012. Though poll results do not specify the reason for this observation, an indication from responses given suggest it could be as a result of the decline in inflation rates as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics. The inflation rate declined for the third straight month to 7.9% in November 2014, slightly down from 8.1% in the previous month due to lower food prices.[1]
 
More findings from the 2014 poll revealed that Nigerians (52%) mostly anticipate a rise in the prices of food while 29% anticipate a rise in the cost of transportation and 10% anticipate a rise in the price of clothes. However, there was a 13-points decline in the proportion of Nigerians who anticipated a general rise in the prices of food items from 2013 to 2014 with a corresponding increase in the proportion of those that anticipate an increase in the cost of transportation. This increase may be influenced by the fear of disruption in petrol supply following the recent industrial action embarked on by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) resulting in the non-availability and artificial scarcity of petroleum products.[2]  In reaction to anticipated price increase in 2014, most Nigerians (78%) foresee a general increase in their spending although a small proportion (10%) affirmed that it will have no impact on their spending.  Finally, in ushering in the 2014 end of year festive season, Nigerians mostly wish fellow citizens ‘Peace& prosperity’, ‘Happy Xmas & New Year in advance’ and ‘God’s blessings’These were some of the key findings of the ‘The Annual Special End of Year Poll’ by NOIPolls conducted in the week of December 15th 2014.
 
Brief Background
End of the year festive period for a typical Nigerian is a period for different celebrations, from parties to carnivals, social gatherings, family/school reunion, annual sporting, cultural fairs and art events. Mid-December through to early January is normally checked with a miscellany of entertainment such as the Calabar carnival, the Fanti Carnival and Eyo festival in Lagos. Benin City also comes alive with traditional dancing, mock battles, themed events and lively parades, when the Igue (Ewere) Festival takes place to mark the beginning of the seasonal yam harvest.[3]
 
While the end of year Festive Season is a special time of celebration and connecting with friends and family, with the exchange of gifts, loud noise in the streets, dancing and songs, movement of people to their respective states of origin to celebrate with their loved ones among other activities;[4] the need to be security conscious and take precautions to protect lives and property is also imperative in the end of year festive season.
 
Against this background NOIPolls conducted this special edition poll to explore the plans and expectations of Nigerians for the 2014 end of year festive season. This poll results release further trends current results with results of the first and second edition conducted in December 2012 and2013. To obtain the full report of this survey, please click here.
 
Key Findings
Respondents to the poll were asked eight specific questions; however, six of these questions are discussed in this release.  To ascertain the plans of Nigerians for the end of year festivities, respondents were asked: What are your plans for the holiday? Findings revealed that majority of Nigerians will be ‘staying at home to relax’ (51%) while a considerable proportion ‘will be traveling’(29%) during the festive season. Other Nigerians who run businesses will take advantage from the general increase in the demand of goods and services by staying back to ‘continue with their business’(8%) while others would use the festive season to socialize by ‘attending family re-unions’ (6%) as well as ‘attend events’ (5%) amongst other activities.
 
Analysis by age-group revealed that Nigerians would generally be staying at home to relax regardless of age-group; although this is mostly true for the senior citizens aged 61 years  and above, which accounted for the highest percentage (69%) of Nigerians who ‘will be staying at home to relax’. On the other hand, Nigerians who would mostly be traveling during the festive period are aged 18 – 21 years(37%), this may be driven by  the fact that majority of Nigerians in this age-group would most likely be students in various schools across the country which would generally be closed for the end of year holiday.
 
When current findings are compared to responses from the previous poll conducted in 2013, findings revealed that Nigerians would be cutting down on staying at home to relax (4-points decline) or even traveling (3-points decline) in 2014 and would rather be socializing by attending family reunions or even continuing their business (6% increase) rather than closing it as usual for most businesses during the end of year festive period.

 

With the aim of gauging the perceptions of Nigerians regarding possible rise in the prices of goods and services, respondents were asked: Do you anticipate a general rise in prices during this festive season?  Overall Nigerians regardless of demographic differences anticipate a general rise in the prices of goods and services during the festive season as confirmed by 68% of respondents surveyed, while 22% stated otherwise. In addition,10% were not sure if there will be a general rise in prices or not.
 
When current findings are compared with poll results from 2013, a significant 12-points decline is seen in the proportion of Nigerians who anticipated a general rise in prices and this can be attributed to the relative economic stability being experienced in the country and an eased inflation rate in the recent times.

 

Respondents who anticipated a general rise in prices (68% of the total) were further asked: Which item do you anticipate a rise? A higher proportion (52%) of the respondents indicated that ‘food’ will be the item most affected by the general rise in price. This is followed by 29% that anticipate a rise in the cost of transportation as and 10% anticipate an increase in the price of clothes. 
 
Analysis by gender reveals that more female (14%) than male (7%) respondents mentioned clothes as one of the items they anticipate a rise in price indicating that more female shop for clothes than male respondents. Also, those aged between 18 – 21 years accounted for the highest proportion (21%) of respondents who indicated clothes as part of the item they anticipate a rise in price. This age-group is most likely to be concerned about wearing new clothes during this festive season than any other age-group.
 
In comparing current results with the poll conducted in 2013, findings revealed a substantial 13-points drop in the proportion of Nigerians who anticipated a general rise in the food item. On the other hand, there was a corresponding 13-points increase in transportation. This increase may have been driven by fear of disruption in the supply of petrol across the country following the recent few days industrial actions by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), resulting in the non-availability and artificial scarcity of petroleum products, which generally impacted on the cost of transportation over the short period it lasted.[1]

 

Furthermore, respondents who anticipate a rise in price were also asked: How will rise in price affect your spending?  A general rise in price will ‘increase spending’ as stated by 78% of Nigerian surveyed; a few (10%)affirmed that it will ‘have no impact’, while some others (12%) maintained that it will ‘reduce their spending’ this festive season.
 
Further evaluation by gender reveals that more female (81%) than male respondents believed that it will increase their spending; this is so as the female gender is generally known to shop more than the male gender especially during the festive season.
 
Trended results from 2012-2014 revealed that the proportion of Nigerians who anticipate a rise in price will increase their spending increased by 9-points in 2013 and by 10-points in 2014. Although the belief of inflation of goods and services during the festive period has declined over the years, nevertheless, the general perception of increased spending during the festive season has increased over the years. This occurrence could be a reflection of the devaluation of Naira over these years and even in recent time where the Naira has been devalued by N13 as announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, [1] there by resulting to the continuous decline in the value for money received for goods and services. This therefore implies that to get the desired quality or quantity of goods and services Nigerians would need to spend more due to the devaluation of the Naira.

 

With the aim of evaluating the security situation of the environment of Nigerians during the end of year festive period, respondents were asked: At present, how would you assess the security situation where you will be spending the holidays?  Recent findings revealed that majority of Nigerians (86%) claim that the environment in which they would be spending the holidays is ’peaceful & secure’.  
 
Analysis across geo-political zones revealed that the North-East zone (19%) had the highest proportion of Nigerians who indicated that their environment is ‘peaceful but not very secure’. This also applies to North-West and North-Central zones (14% and 10% respectively). Meanwhile, the number of people who indicated that the environment where they will be spending the holiday is ‘tense and insecure’ was highest in North-West zone(8%).

While it is a known fact that criminal activities increases during the end of year festive period, especially  with the financial commitment that is associated with festivities, the perception of a ‘peaceful and secure’ holiday environment has increased over the years with a total increase of 32-points from 2012 to  the present time. This increased confidence could be stimulated by an increased awareness of common crimes around various localities, adapted security tips by Nigerians in staying security conscious coupled with the proactive measures taken by security agencies in curbing crime especially in this period. Meanwhile, the number of people who indicated ‘peaceful but not very secure’ environment declined by 21- points in 2013 and further dropped by 7- points in 2014.

 

In the same manner, respondents were asked: Do you believe your state police command is ready to respond to any security alert during this season?  Findings revealed that majority of Nigerians (87%)believe the state police command is ready to respond to any security alert during this festive season. This cuts across all regions and age-groups. Although a considerable proportion of Nigerians especially in the South-East region do not have confidence in the state police command to respond to security alerts.
 
Trended results from 2012 to 2014 depicts that the number of people who indicated the state police command is ready to respond to any security alert increased by 24 points in 2013 and has remained stable since then. Similarly, the number of people who do not believe state police command is ready to respond declined by 24 points in 2013 and has also remained stable till now.

 

In conclusion, the end of year special poll revealed that majority of Nigerians will be staying at home to relax(51%) while a considerable proportion will be traveling (29%) during the festive season although there will be a reduction in these activities in 2014 as some Nigerians would rather be socialising by attending family reunions or even continuing their businesses (6% increase). More findings revealed that Nigerians anticipate a general rise in prices this festive season as confirmed by 68% of respondents surveyed while 22% stated otherwiseIn line with this, a higher proportion (52%) of the respondents indicated that ‘food’ will be the item most affected by the general rise in price. This is followed by ‘transportation’ (29%)and ‘clothes’ (10%) amongst other items.   As an impact of increased prices of goods and services in the end of year festive period, most Nigerians anticipate an increase in their  spending as stated by 78% of Nigerian surveyed; a few (10%) affirmed that it will ‘have no impact’, some others (12%) maintained that it will ‘reduce their spending’ this festive season. Furthermore the poll revealed that majority of Nigerians (86%) claim that the environment in which they would be spending the holidays is ’peaceful & secure’.  With respect to the preparedness of security forces for the festive period, majority of Nigerians (87%) believe the state police command is ready to respond to any security alert during this festive season. This reflects the confidence of Nigerians in the state police command in ensuring the protection of their environment from theft, conflict and violence. Finally, most Nigerians wish their fellow patriots ‘Peace& prosperity’.
 
Survey Methods
The opinion poll was conducted in the week 15th December 2014. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,000 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, No 1 for Country Specific Polling Services in West Africa, which 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.
 
Press Contact
The Editor
Email: editor@noi-polls.com
 


[1] http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/12/naira-devaluationll-mixed-effects-economy-says-varsity-don/

[1] http://www.tradingeconomics.com/nigeria/inflation-cpi

[2] http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=95747

[3] http://www.world-guides.com/africa/west-africa/nigeria/nigeria_events.html

[4] http://www.total-facts-about-nigeria.com/nigeria-christmas.html

[1] http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=95747