Abuja, Nigeria. December 20th, 2016 –As another end of year festivity approaches, Nigerians are looking forward to the celebrations that come with the season and the time off to relax before kick-starting the New Year. Hence, while a flurry of economic activities such as purchasing of travel tickets, food items, clothes etc. are ongoing; Nigerians are mindful of the impact on their finances due to probable rising costs and also as the economy is yet to improve. This is attested to by the majority of Nigerians (77 percent) who anticipate a general increase in the prices of goods and services during this festive season and 51 percent of this proportion who specified food as the item that would mostly increase, as revealed by the latest public opinion poll results released by NOIPolls Limited.
More findings revealed that most Nigerians (62 percent) will be staying at home to relax during the end of year festivities and residents from the North-East zone accounted for the largest proportion (77 percent) of Nigerians in this category. This could be attributed to the economic situation of Nigeria that has further worsened in the third quarter, coupled with the fact that the zone is yet to gain stability due to some pockets of insurgency activities. Therefore, citizens would rather cut down their expenditures and stay at home in order not to incur too much expenses while also trying to stay safe. Also, 20 percent reported that they will be travelling during the period and the South-East zone recorded the largest proportion (28 percent) of the respondents that gave this assertion.
In addition, the poll revealed that the current economic recession facing the country maybe an impediment to the level of satisfaction citizens would enjoy this festive season as most Nigerians (48 percent) pointed out that they will minimize their end of year spending while 35 percent complained that it will increase their end of year spending amongst other effects. Therefore, the Federal Government needs to seek more realistic solutions to the economy, especially now that the 2017 Appropriation Bill has been submitted to the National Assembly with about 31 percent of the budget committed to capital expenditure. Lastly, most Nigerians (23 percent) wish their fellow citizen peace and prosperity during this festive period which portrays love and harmony among the citizens. These were the key findings from the end of year special poll conducted in the week of December 12th, 2016.
Usually, the month of December signifies the end of a Gregorian calendar year and is marked with several celebrations in Nigeria, 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 variety of events such as entertainment (‘Headies’), the Calabar carnival, Eyo festival in Lagos and the 9,999 carol night in Uyo the Akwa-Ibom state capital amongst other series of events.
During this season, many towns and cities are emptied as most people who have moved to the cities return to their ancestral home towns and villages to be with family they may not have been opportune to see in the entire year due to city living. Christmas in Nigeria as usual, is a time for celebration and reconnection, the experience is always an unforgettable one.
Against this background, NOIPolls conducted this poll to explore the plans of Nigerians for the 2016 end of year festive season. This poll results release further trends current results with results of the first, second, third and fourth edition conducted in December 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
To ascertain the plans of Nigerians during this festive season, this poll results revealed that most Nigerians (62 percent) stated that they will stay at home and residents from the North-East zone had the highest percentage (77 percent) of respondents in this category. This could be attributed to the economic situation of Nigeria that has further worsened in the third quarter, coupled with the fact that the zone is yet to gain stability due to some pockets of insurgency activities. Therefore, citizens would rather cut down their expenditures and staying at home in order not to incur too much expenses while also trying to stay safe.
Also, 20 percent of the respondents stated that they will be traveling and the South-East zone recorded the largest proportion (28 percent) of the respondents that gave this assertion. While 12 percent indicated that they will continue with their various businesses, 5 percent reported that they will be attending events. In addition, a meagre 1 percent revealed that they will spend more time with their families.
When current findings are compared to responses from the poll conducted in 2015, it reveals a 5-point increase in the percentage of Nigerians who will be staying at home to relax and a 7-point decline in the percentage of Nigerians who will be traveling during festive season. These differences could be as a result of the strategy adopted by citizens to manage the little resources they have to avoid overspending and any financial mishaps in the coming year.
An evaluation of an anticipated general rise in prices during this festive season in comparison with the poll conducted in 2015 revealed that most Nigerians (77 percent) believe that there would be a general rise in prices this festive season. This reflects a 1-point increase and further buttresses the reports by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) about the inflation rate in the country which has hit 18.3 percent in October 2016. On the contrary, 23 percent said they do not anticipate a general rise in the prices of items during this festive season and during the course of this survey, majority of the respondents in this category based their position on the fact that there is no money in circulation, therefore, buying power among Nigerians has drastically reduced which would in turn force the prices down or remain in the same point.
Subsequently, out of the proportion of Nigerians (77 percent) who admitted to a general rise in prices, (51 percent) reported that they anticipate a general rise in prices of food items and it corroborates a previous report that Naira fall has affected the prices of food commodities in the country. Other items mentioned are clothes and transportation (22 percent each), fuel (4 percent) and electronics (91 percent).Trend analysis revealed a significant 9-point decrease in the number of Nigerians who anticipated a general rise in food items and a 7-points increase in the proportion of Nigerians who mentioned clothes when these current findings are compared with the poll results conducted in 2015.
Irrespective of the responses on the anticipated general rise in the prices of goods and services, the toll that the current economic situation would take on the end of year spending was also assessed and results showed that a major share (48 percent) of Nigerians reported that it will increase their spending. This represents a 13-point increase when compared with the results obtained in 2015. Additionally, 37 percent specified that they will minimize their spending this festive season signifying a 1-point decline when compared to the result obtained in 2015 which stood at 38 percent. Above all, the position of respondents who believed that the state of the economy will not affect their end of year spending remained the same at 9 percent.
Lastly, the poll sought to ascertain what Nigerians wish their fellow citizens in this yuletide season and findings revealed that majority (23 percent) of Nigerians wish fellow citizens ‘peace and prosperity’, this assertion was made by most residents from the North-East zone (45 percent). Interestingly, this is closely followed by 22 percent of Nigerians who wish fellow citizens ‘a better Nigeria’ this season as it is obvious that citizens are facing undue hardships due to the current state of the economy. Another 22 percent indicated that they wish their fellow Nigerians ‘a Happy Christmas celebration and New Year in advance’ while 20 percent wish their fellow citizens God’s blessings, among other wishes.
Trend analysis from 2015 revealed a huge 19-point increase in the proportion of Nigerians who wish fellow citizens ‘a better Nigeria’ and this could be attributed to the current state of the economy. Also, the poll conducted in 2015 indicates that the number of people who expressed ‘peace and prosperity’ wishes further decreased by 8- points in 2016.
In conclusion, this poll has revealed that most Nigerians (62 percent) will be staying at home to relax during the end of year festivities, whereas 20 percent reported that they will be travelling during the period. More findings shows that majority of Nigerians (77 percent) anticipate a general increase in the prices of goods and services in Nigeria during the festive season and 51 percent of this proportion specified food as the item that would mostly increase. As a result of this general increase in prices, 48 percent of Nigerians disclosed that they will minimize their end of year spending while 35 percent complained that it will increase their end of year spending amongst other effects. Finally, the survey also present some sort of harmony and love among the citizens as 23 percent wish peace and prosperity for their fellow citizens.
The opinion poll was conducted in the week of December 12th, 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 the 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
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.