Abuja, Nigeria. January 13th, 2016 –The 4th in series of the Annual New Year Special Edition Poll conducted by NOIPolls to assess the areas Nigerians want the President to focus his attention on in 2016 revealed that Job creation (16 percent), Security (15 percent) and Economy (12 percent) are top key issues Nigerians would like the government to focus its efforts on in 2016. This is followed by Electricity (10 percent), Education (9 percent) and the downstream oil sector (7 percent), among other areas.
In addition, the expectation of Nigerians for the economy in the next six months was also assessed and findings revealed that most Nigerians (89 percent) expressed optimism that they hope the economy will improve in the next six months. This perception may have been influenced by the high expectation of Nigerians from the recently released 2016 budget by the President to the National Assembly which seems to give some policy direction and boost in the hopes of the citizens on the economy.
These are some of the key findings from the New Year Special Edition Poll conducted in the week of 4th January 2016.
In Nigeria, the beginning of a new year is usually celebrated as the start of an era of new possibilities and an opportunity for better planning or change. This period is usually characterized by new resolutions, plans, hopes and expectations, as individuals and corporate organisations begin to strategize for and draw up blue prints for a productive year.
The year 2015 was an eventful year for Nigeria as a nation, witnessing a major transition in government, and some of its structures. The Nigerian people have had expectations of change and recent developments in the polity towards the end of year / New Year holidays have further influenced perceptions on outlook for the year 2016. Against this background, NOIPolls conducted its Annual New Year Special Edition Snap Poll to assess the areas Nigerians want the President to focus his attention in 2016, as well as their expectation for the economy in the next 6 months. This is the fourth in series of the New Year polls following those conducted in 2013 and 2014 and 2015.
In order to ascertain the perception of respondents on the key areas Nigerians expect the president to focus on in year 2016, respondents were asked: What are the key areas you would like the President to focus his attention to this year 2016? The top three key areas Nigerians expect the President to focus his attention on are Job creation (16 percent), Security (15 percent) and Economy (12 percent) amongst others key areas.
Analysis by geo-political zones indicates that Nigerians who are most worried about Job creation are residents of the South-South Zone (31 percent) which has the larger proportion of Nigerians who expect the President to focus on Job creation in 2016. This result is consistent with the report of international youth foundation on Niger Delta youth assessment which stated that the youth (15-24 years) unemployment rate is 40 percent, far exceeding the national average youth unemployment rate of 14 percent. This reflects the security challenges in these zones as a result of insurgency.
A closer view at the figures presented in the chart below revealed that while other zones across the country are more concerned about Job creation, Electricity and Economic/welfare, the North-East and North-West are mostly worried about Security; accounting for the highest percentage of Nigerians who expect the President to focus on Security (13 percent and 13 percent respectively). These zones also accounted for the highest number of respondents who expects the president to focus on Education. This finding further supports the “Children out of school” poll result released by NOIPolls on 8thSeptember 2015 which revealed that 83 percent of the respondents from these regions personally see children out of school, hence, the need for focus on education.
Yearly trend assessment shows that Job creation has topped the list of three key areas Nigerians would like the President to focus on in 2016 (16 percent), 2014 (19 percent) and in 2013 (24 percent); Although security was the top priority for Nigerians in 2015, due to the series of attack by the insurgency especially in the North-east region.
Figures from the chart below also give indications that the concern for electricity has consistently declined over time with a total of 8-points from 2013 (18 percent) to 2016 (10 percent). This gives an indication that while efforts are being made to reform the power sector with several milestones being achieved, Nigerians may have come to terms with the issues associated with the power sector and the need for focus on issues they perceive to immediately affect them as individuals and the larger society.
Subsequently, to ascertain the anticipation of Nigerians on the country’s economy in the next six months, respondents were asked: What is your expectation of the country’s economy in the next six months? Majority of Nigerians anticipate an improvement in the country’s economy in the next six months as reported by 89 percent of the respondents interviewed. This perception cuts across gender, geo-political zone and age-group.
Further analysis on age-group indicates that majority (96 percent) of respondents who asserted that it will improve fall within the age-group of 18-25 years and most of the respondents in this category are students. This may be accredited to the provision for education which had the highest allocation (369.6 billion naira from a total of 6.08 trillion naira budget) in the recurrent expenditure in the budget. The budget tends to provide jobs which will ultimately improve the welfare of the teeming youths who fall within this age group.
In conclusion, the New Year brings hope and expectation for many Nigerians, even as they expect the President to focus on Job creation (16 percent), Security (15 percent) and Economy/welfare (12 percent) amongst others key areas. Moreover, Nigerians are looking forward to a fruitful year as they express optimism for an improved economy in the next six months.
The opinion poll was conducted in the week of 4th January 2016. 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 is No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa. 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
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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.