Electricity, Security and Job Creation; Top Economic Issues Nigerians Demand Government Should Address

Abuja, Nigeria. March 31st, 2015 – A poll commissioned by BusinessDay Media and conducted by NOIPolls Limited in 2014 revealed ‘electricity’ as the top economic issue Nigerians want the government to address within the next 6 months as reported by majority (68 percent) of adult Nigerians surveyed. Other issues which Nigerians want the government to address in the next six months in order of priority include; ‘security’ (58 percent), ‘job creation’ (55 percent), ‘roads’ (49 percent), ‘education’ (42 percent), ‘health care’ (31 percent), ‘agriculture/food security’ (29 percent), ‘potable water’ (26 percent), ‘transportation’ (24 percent), and ‘corruption’ with 21 percent.

Furthermore, ‘poor electricity supply’ has been identified as the most critical factor impeding growth of Nigerian businesses. Consequently, more than 6 in 10 Nigerians (63 percent) were of the opinion that the Federal government should be responsible for creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country.

Finally, while Nigerians are in the final phase of the 2015 electioneering process, irrespective of whoever wins the election, it is imperative that the economic team focuses its attention on addressing these key issues that have been identified by Nigerians. To this effect, great consideration should be given to the engagement of top class professionals and experts in the sectors concerned, to articulate and implement strategies to tackle these issues which have long affected the Nigerian economy and the general wellbeing of Nigerians. These are the key findings from the Top Economic Issues in Nigeria poll conducted in 2014.

Brief Background

Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation, with a GDP of $522.64 Billion from oil and non-oil sectors. Nigeria is rich in natural and human resources, to mention a few, it has the 6th largest gas reserves and the 8th largest crude oil reserves in the world. It is also endowed with about 37 solid mineral types and given this status; Nigeria’s economy is recognized to have great potential.[1]

In reality, the reverse is the case for the Nigerian economy, as it has been characterized by continuous stagnation, thus, resulting in the deterioration of the wellbeing of the citizens and social instability. This also has undermined the general development of the country over the years, especially when compared with several other emerging Nations. Although recently, Nigeria has witnessed economic growth, as it was recently announced as the largest economy in Africa,[2] however the Nigerian economy is faced with several challenges which have negatively impacted overall economic activities of all sectors with direct effect seen in the untold pressures on citizens.[3] Against this background, NOIPolls Ltd conducted a poll on economic issues in Nigeria to identify the top ten economic most important issues that Nigerians want the government to address.

Survey Findings

Respondents to the poll were asked some specific questions. However, most importantly, to ascertain the top ten most pressing economic issues Nigerians want the government to address, respondents were asked: In your opinion, what are the top ten most important economic issues the government should address in the next 6 months? Responses to this question revealed that 68 percent of adult Nigerians believe that ‘electricity’ is the first most important economic issue the government should address within the next 6 months. Though Nigerians have admitted to witnessing improvement in Electricity over the past 6 months (which could be as a direct impact of the power sector reform), nevertheless high power outage still characterizes electricity supply, given that majority receive a daily cumulative of 1-4 hours of power supply, according to previous power polls conducted by NOIPolls in the first quarter of 2014[4].

Other economic issues which Nigerians want the government to address in order of importance according to respondents surveyed are as follows; ‘security’ (58 percent), ‘job creation’ (55 percent), ‘roads’ (49 percent), ‘education’ (42 percent), ‘health care’ (31 percent), ‘agriculture/food security’ (29 percent), ‘potable water’ (26 percent), ‘transportation’ (24 percent), and ‘corruption’ with 21 percent. These issues where were communicated by both gender, almost in the same order of importance and without significant differences in the proportion, except for ‘Agriculture/food security’ where more male (33 percent) than female (24 percent) respondents it as issue of importance.

The North-West zone has the highest number (82 percent) of respondents who indicated ‘electricity’ as the top most important economic issues the government should address in 6 months. The North-East zone has the largest ratio (73 percent) of respondents who stated ‘security’, the South-South zone has the largest number (63 percent) who indicated ‘job creation’, while the South-East zone has the highest proportion (54 percent) who pointed ‘roads’ as the most important economic issues the government should address within the next 6 months.

 

Respondents were asked: In your opinion, what tier of government should be most responsible for creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive? In response to this question, more than 6 in 10 Nigerians (63 percent) think that the federal government should be responsible for creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. This is followed 20 percent of the respondents who believe it is the responsibility of the state government, while 17 percent of the respondents say it is the local government’s responsibility to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

From the geo-political zones perspective, the North-East zone has the highest proportion (79 percent) of respondents who think it should be the federal government; the South-South zone has the highest number (25 percent) of respondents who feel it is the state government, while the North-West zone accounted for the largest ratio (22 percent) of respondents who believe it should be the local government’s responsibility.

 

Furthermore, respondents were also asked: What are the factors that impede growth of Nigerian businesses? The findings revealed that the slight majority (30 percent) of Nigerians listed ‘Poor electricity supply’ as the top most factors which impedes growth of Nigerian businesses. This is closely followed by ‘Insecurity’ with (29 percent), ‘corruption’ (23 percent) and ‘Poor roads’ (11 percent).  In addition, respondents also indicated ‘lack of fund/loan’ (10 percent), as well as ‘inflation/price (7 percent) amongst other factors.

The South-West zone accounted for the highest proportion (40 percent) of respondents who mentioned ‘Poor electricity supply’ as one of the factors that impede growth of Nigerian businesses.  The North-East zone has the largest ratio (49 percent) who stated ‘Insecurity’ while the South-South zone has the highest (29 percent) respondents who indicated ‘corruption’. In addition, the South-East and the North-West zones have the largest number of respondents who indicated ‘poor roads’ and ‘lack of fund/loan’ with 27 percent and 17 percent respectively.

 

In conclusion, an assessment of economic issues revealed that 68 percent of adult Nigerians believe that ‘electricity’ is the first most important economic issue the government should address. Other economic issues include: ‘security’ (58 percent), ‘job creation’ (55 percent), ‘roads’ (49 percent), ‘education’ (42 percent), ‘health care’ (31 percent), ‘agriculture/food security’ (29 percent), ‘potable water’ (26 percent), ‘transportation’ (24 percent), and ‘corruption’ with 21 percent. More findings revealeded that the slight majority (30 percent) of adult Nigerians listed ‘Poor electricity supply’ as the top most factors which impede growth of Nigerian businesses. This is closely followed by ‘Insecurity’ (29 percent) and ‘corruption’ (23 percent). Finally, 63 percent of the respondents believe that the federal government should be responsible for creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in 2014. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,500 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 2.5%. NOIPolls Limited, No1 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 and authorised for release by BusinessDay Media on the NOIPolls media platform to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. BusinessDay, established in 2001, is a daily business newspaper based in Lagos, Nigeria. It is the only Nigerian newspaper with a bureau in Accra, Ghana. BusinessDay Media Ltd is the leading medium for up-to-date news and insightful analysis of business, policy and the economy in Nigeria, a critical decision-making tool for investors and managers. It provides unbiased news and informed analysis on politics, governance, social and economic trends.

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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[1] http://www.tradingeconomics.com/nigeria/gdp-growth-annual

[2] http://businessdayonline.com/2013/12/nigerias-economy-largest-in-africa-as-rebasing-boosts-gdp-to-405bn/#.U9X6bXkg_mI

[3] http://www.africaeconomicanalysis.org

[4] www.noipolls.com