Abuja, Nigeria. November 19th, 2013 – Latest weekly poll results released by NOIPolls Limited has indicated a general level of apathy towards public property in Nigeria. The poll conducted on the issue of public property Vandalism in Nigeria revealed that about 6 in 10 Nigerians (61%) believe that Nigerians generally value public property poorly. Also, the majority of respondents (74%) agree that there is a high incidence of public property vandalism in Nigeria; while suggesting that the most vandalised public properties are: electricity installation (57%); oil/gas (51%) facilities; and public buildings (32%). Furthermore, suggestions provided to tackle the issue of vandalism include: provision of employment (58%); public enlightenment (15%); and adequate security (13%). These were the key findings from the Public Property Vandalism Poll conducted in the week of November 11th 2013.
Vandalism of Public/Government property in Nigeria has had a negative impact on the economy and society as a whole, with several sectors suffering great setbacks. For instance, in the oil sector, experts claim that Nigeria loses billions of dollars annually to the vandalism of petroleum products pipelines. Estimates from a recent audit report by NEITI revealed that Nigeria and oil companies lost a total of N1.737trillion ($10,992,776,474) in three years from 2009 to 2011; with cumulative losses due to pipeline vandalism and crude oil thefts at N134,126,921,724 ($894,179,478). The report also confirmed that NNPC spent over $600 million to fortify security of oil and gas facilities.
Similarly, the power sector has also suffered its fair share from the vandalisation of electricity facilities, which have continued to impact negatively on power distribution in the country. Experts have warned that continued vandalisation of power facilities across the country would jeopardise the efforts of the 10 new distribution companies at improving power supply in Nigeria. Recently, the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo confirmed at a two-day Stakeholders Forum on the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure, that Nigeria is losing over 35% of her power generation capacity to the activities of vandals. He also stated that “The Power sector is hit in the most devastating manner and the effect of vandalism cannot be overemphasised as industries, small and medium scale businesses are being starved of power as a result of the activities of vandals”. The effect of vandalism has stimulated the outcry for tougher laws to be enforced to protect public property.
In view of this background, NOIPolls conducted its latest poll on public property vandalism in Nigeria to explore the views of Nigerians regarding how public/government public properties are valued and the level of vandalism present, as well as possible causes and remedies to minimise incidence of vandalism.
Respondents to the nation-wide poll were asked five specific questions. The First question sought the views of Nigerians on how well public/government properties are valued by Nigerians. Respondents were asked: In your opinion, how well do Nigerians value public/government property? From the results, the overall majority (61%: 32%+29%) were of the opinion that public/government properties are valued poorly in Nigeria. Conversely, 26% (13%+13%) were of the opinion that they are valued well; while 13% said they are valued adequately by Nigerians.
Analysis across geo-political zones revealed that the South-East zone (69%: 41%+28%) and the South-West zone (67%: 24%+43%) had the highest proportion of Nigerians that claim Nigerians value public/government properties poorly. Furthermore, the North-East zone (52%: 35%+17%) had the highest proportion of respondents that said public/government are valued well by Nigerians.
The second question sought to establish the incidence of vandalism on public/government property in Nigeria. Respondents were asked: To what extent do you agree or disagree that there is a high incidence of public property vandalism in Nigeria? Overall, the majority of Nigerians (74%: 33%+41%) affirm that Nigeria generally has a high incidence of public property vandalism. This finding directly relates to the response from the previous question indicating that Nigerians place poor value on public property. Comparatively, 14% (13%+1%) disagree that there is a high incidence of public property; while 12% were neutral.
Analysis based on geo-political zone shows that the South-South zone (70%: 49%+31%) accounts for the highest proportion of respondents that affirmed a high incidence of public property vandalism, while the highest number of Nigerians who disagree to the assertion were from the North-Central zone (23%: 22%+1%).
Subsequently, in order to determine the perception of Nigerians regarding the most vandalised public properties, respondents were asked: In your opinion which public/government properties are most vandalised?Interestingly, the majority (57%) revealed that the most vandalised public/government properties in Nigeria are electricity facilities; closely followed by Oil & Gas facilities (51%).
Other public properties mostly vandalised include: public buildings (32%), roads (18%), water facilities (11%), telecoms installations (5%), government vehicles (2%) and public schools (1%). This finding corroborates the assertion by the Honourable Minister of power that “The Power sector is hit in the most devastating manner and the effect of vandalism cannot be overemphasized”
In addition, gauging the opinions across geo-political zones indicated that the North-East zone (89%) had the highest number of Nigerians that indicated electricity facilities as the most vandalised. Also, the North-West (66%) and South-South (61%) zones accounts for the highest proportion of Nigerians that indicated oil/gas facilities and most of the Nigerians that suggested public buildings were from the North-East zone (47%).
Furthermore, with the aim for identifying the root causes of vandalism in Nigeria, respondents were asked: In your opinion what are the main causes of public property vandalism in Nigeria. From the results, Unemployment (33%) was identified as the main cause of public/government property vandalism. This was followed by “poverty” (22%), “poor enforcement of law” (15%) and “illiteracy/lack of awareness (11%). Also,8% of the respondents blamed “poor maintenance culture” while 11% indicated “others”.
Finally, in order to explore the views of Nigerians on possible ways for reducing the incidence of vandalism, respondents were asked: What suggestions do you have for reducing the incidence of vandalism in Nigeria? Overall, the majority (58%) suggested that in order to reduce vandalism Government should “provide employment”. This is not unexpected, given that unemployment has been identified as the main root cause of vandalism. Other suggestions made by Nigerians include “public reorientation/enlightenment/awareness” indicated by 15%; “provision of adequate security” (13%); “enforcement of laws” (11%), and “government should inculcate good maintenance culture” (7%).
From the geo-political standpoint, the South-South zone (69%) had more respondents that suggested the provision of employment as a way of reducing vandalism in Nigeria and the South-West zone (23%) had more people who say there should be “public reorientation/enlightenment/awareness” on the ill effects on vandalism to the nation.
In conclusion, this current poll has revealed that about 6 in 10 Nigerians (61%) are of the opinion that public properties are valued poorly in Nigeria. Furthermore, the majority (74%) agree that there is a high incidence of public property vandalism; while electricity facilities (57%) and oil/gas installations (51%) were identified as the most vandalised public properties in Nigeria. In addition, the poll revealed that the major causes of public/government property vandalism are “Unemployment” (33%); “poverty” (22%); and “poor enforcement of laws” (15%). Nigerians have further suggested that in order to minimize the incidence of vandalism government should strengthen its efforts at providing employment opportunities (58%), as well as providing public enlightenment (15%) and adequate security (13%).
Finally, in a bid to eradicate / drastically minimise the incidence of vandalism in Nigeria, we suggest that while programmes, projects and interventions are being designed to address unemployment; more media enlightenment campaigns need to be undertaken by the Nigeria Orientation Agency (NOA) in order to provide enlighten the public on the negative effects of vandalism and its socio-economic implications on the country.
The opinion poll was conducted on November 11th to 13th 2013. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,007 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, 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
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.