Nigerians Declare ‘Power’, ‘Security’ And ‘Education’ As Focal Areas For The New Government

  

Abuja, Nigeria. June 2nd, 2015 – A special edition poll conducted by NOIPolls Limited in partnership with BusinessDay Media, has revealed that Nigerians would like the new government to mainly focus on ‘Power’ (55 percent), ‘Security’ (41 percent) and ‘Education’ (34 percent) among other sectors; in order to generate tangible change, growth and development, which will have a positive effect on the overall well-being of Nigerians in the next four years.

More findings from the poll revealed that 8 in 10 Nigerians (81 percent) were of the opinion that the 2015 Democracy Day was worth celebrating; while citing ‘we have a change in government’ (39 percent), ‘there has been a positive change’ (11 percent) and ‘a sincere President has been elected’ (11 percent) as the main reasons for the relevance of the 2015 Democracy Day celebration. These perceptions therefore suggest that the 2015 electoral process as well as the transition in government shaped the perception of Nigerians towards the 2015 Democracy day; thus creating a positive outlook on the essence of democracy in Nigeria. However, 19 percent of the respondents were of the opinion that the 2015 Democracy Day was not worth celebrating; mainly because they believe it’s a waste of time due to the level of hardship in the country.

Furthermore, ‘Corruption’ (32 percent), ‘Bad Governance’ (22 percent) and ‘Insecurity’ (11 percent) are top three factors that have hindered the progress of Democracy in Nigeria as identified by Nigerians. Although, insecurity was of more concern to residents of the North-East (23 percent) and North-West zone (16 percent), than to the residents of other zones.

Finally, an evaluation of the performance of the outgone government revealed that almost half (48 percent) of Nigerians rated the performance of the outgone administration as poor. Although, Nigerians believe that the outgone government mainly performed well in the Agricultural (19 percent), Educational (18 percent) and Aviation (10 percent) sectors, while, 18 percent of Nigerians are of the opinion that the past government did not perform well in any sector. These were some of the key findings from the Democracy Day Special Edition poll conducted in the week of May 25th 2015.

Brief Background

Democracy is the establishment of responsive political institutions which promotes an accountable government, prevent corruption, respect human rights and civil rights, and ensure sovereignty. With many years of military coups and fruitless efforts to practice civilian rule, Nigeria finally made a transition in 1999. Nigerians viewed those years as trying periods of a process of democratization that would pave the way for political infrastructure in the country.

Democracy may have provided Nigerians the unique opportunity to walk freely, associate freely, express freely, but a situation where majority of her citizens are still living in abject poverty without access to basic necessities of life suggest that democratic rule in Nigeria still has some major hurdles to overcome. Sixteen years of civil rule after a lengthened military dictatorship has been characterized by challenges such as terrorism, abuse of public office, corruption, political sabotage, ethnic rivalry, insecurity, poverty, illiteracy, among other shortcomings which are dangers to democracy.[1]

The Nigerian government under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan further emphasized its commitment to democracy, thus achieving a far-reaching landmark in electoral reforms and to a large extent, overcame the electoral process failure that had flawed past elections in the country.[2] Nigerians and the international community have commended democracy in Nigeria, especially as a result of the successful conduct of the March 28 and April 11, 2015 general elections, despites various administrative setbacks.[3]

In May 29, 2015, the country celebrated her 17th anniversary of democratic rule which also capped the transition in the Nigerian government as the past Government handed over to the current Government.  In light of socio-economic development which has witnessed a number of issues that has directly impacted the quality of life of Nigerian citizens, the Nigerian populace as well as international communities maintain a positive outlook while having great expectations on what the new Government will yield.

Against this background, NOIPolls in partnership with BusinessDay media conducted a Democracy Day Poll, to gauge the perceptions of Nigerians on the value of the democracy day celebration, the performance of the outgone government, as well as their expectation for the new government.

Key Findings

To gauge the perceptions of Nigerians on the relevance of the democracy day celebration, respondents were asked: In your own words do you think this 2015 Democracy day is worth celebrating in Nigeria? Findings revealed that 8 in 10 Nigerians (81 percent) were affirmative of the value or significance of the Democracy Day celebration. This finding spanned across gender, geo-political zones and age-groups; while 19 percent of the respondents were of the opinion that the 2015 Democracy Day was not worth celebrating.

Regardless of the opinion of Nigerians on the celebration of the Democracy Day respondents were asked: Why do you think the democracy day is worth/not worth celebrating? On the one hand, most Nigerians who think the democracy day is worth celebrating mainly cited ‘we have a change in government’ (39 percent), ‘there has been a positive change’ (11 percent) and ‘a sincere President has been elected’ (11 percent) as main reasons why the 2015 democracy day was worth celebrating. These perceptions therefore suggest that the 2015 electoral process as well as the transition in government shaped the perception of Nigerians towards the Democracy Day celebration; thus creating a positive outlook on the essence of democracy in Nigeria.

On the other hand, respondents who maintained a negative stance on the worth of the democracy day celebration were mainly of the opinion that “it’s a waste of time due to the level of hardship in the country,” (30 percent) while also stating “the economy is in a bad situation”(20 percent) alongside the recent ‘fuel crisis’ (16 percent) which has plagued the nation for over three months.

Subsequently, respondents were asked: In your opinion what is the most pressing challenge facing democracy in Nigeria? Findings revealed that ‘Corruption’ (32 percent), ‘Bad Governance’ (22 percent) and ‘Insecurity’ (11 percent) were top three factors that have hindered the progress of democracy in Nigeria as identified by Nigerians. Other factors which emerged from this question include ‘unemployment’ (6 percent), ‘fuel scarcity’ (5 percent), ‘power/electricity shortage/poor supply’ (4 percent) and ‘greed’ (4 percent) among others.

Further analysis revealed that ‘insecurity’ was of more concern to respondents in the North-East (23 percent) and the North-West zone (16) than other zones.

Respondents were also required to rate the performance of the outgone administration: to achieve this they were asked: On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is very poor and 5 is very good, how would you rate the performance of the outgoing administration?  Nearly half (48 percent) of the respondents rated the performance of the outgone administration as poor. In addition, 28 percent gave an average rating, while 24 percent rated the performance of the outgone administration as good. Moreover, the average rating of the outgone administration was recorded at 2.6, where the closer the average score is to 5, the better the rating.

Further analysis by geo-political zones revealed that the outgone administration received the worst rating from the North-West and South-West zones with an overall average rating of 2.2 and 2.4 respectively, therefore depicting a performance below average.

Furthermore, respondents were asked: In which sector do you think the outgoing government has mainly performed well? Findings revealed that Nigerians believe the outgone government mainly performed well in the Agricultural (19 percent), Educational (18 percent) and Aviation (10 percent) sectors Such findings are not surprising given the recorded successes in these sectors.

Moreover 18 percent of Nigerians are of the opinion that the past government did not perform well in any sector, while Power (5 percent), Oil and gas (4 percent) Economy (3 percent) and Security (3 percent) were least mentioned, indicating the perception of low performance in these sectors.

Finally, respondents were asked: What three (3) key sectors would you like the incoming government to focus its effort on in the next four years? Overall, the top three areas Nigerians would like the new government to focus on include ‘Power’ (55 percent). This demand is geared by challenges the sector has faced over the years and significant impact it has had on the daily lives of Nigerians and businesses operating in Nigeria. Although steps had been taken by the outgone administration to reform this sector, little to no impact in results has been seen in this sector, with the perception from Nigerians that the state of power supply has worsened in recent times.

This is followed by ‘Security’ (41 percent) and ‘Education’ (34 percent). Other areas mentioned include ‘Oil and Gas’ (28 percent) ‘Employment’ (25 percent) and ‘Agriculture’ (23 percent) among other focal areas.

In conclusion, the poll revealed that 8 in 10 Nigerians (81 percent) were affirmative of the relevance of the Democracy Day celebration. Nigerians in this category  mainly cited ‘we have a change in government’ (39 percent), ‘there has been a positive change’ (11 percent) and ‘a sincere President has been elected’ (11 percent) as main reasons why the 2015 democracy day was worth celebrating. On the other hand, respondents who maintained a negative stance on the worth of the democracy day celebration were mainly of the opinion that “it’s a waste of time due to the level of hardship in the country”. Further findings revealed that ‘Corruption’ (32 percent), ‘Bad Governance’ (22 percent) and ‘Insecurity’ (11 percent) were top three factors that that have hindered the progress of democracy in Nigeria as identified by respondents.

Furthermore, 48 percent of respondents rated the performance of the outgone administration as poor, 28 percent gave an average rating of the outgone administration while 24 percent rated the performance of the outgone administration as good. In addition, Nigerians believe the outgone government mainly performed well in the Agricultural (19 percent), Educational (18 percent) and Aviation (10 percent) sectors.

Finally, to aid development in Nigeria and improve the well-being of citizens, Nigerians would like the new government to focus on ‘Power’ (55 percent), Security (41 percent) and Education (34 percent) among other sectors in the next four years.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week of May 25th 2015. 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%.

About NOIPolls

NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa, works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA). We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com

About BusinessDay Media

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.

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited and authorized for release by BusinessDay Media on the NOIPolls media platform 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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[1] http://www.thetidenewsonline.com/2014/05/29/democracy-at-15-the-journey-so-far/

[2] http://www.nigeriansinamerica.com/nigerias-democracy-its-electoral-process-and-the-journey-so-far/

[3] http://nationalmirroronline.net/new/on-nigerias-democracy-so-far/