The annual Independence Day Special Edition Poll results released by NOIPolls Limited have revealed that an overwhelming majority of Nigerians (85 percent) say they are proud to be Nigerians. This is heart-warming and gratifying considering the various economic, security and infrastructural challenges Nigerians face on a daily basis and also vis-à-vis the negative reports about our teeming populace attesting to the fact that they are not proud to be Nigerians. Only 15 percent say they are not proud to be Nigerians. However, it should be noted that there is a 3 percent decrease from the 2017 figure in terms of the proportion of Nigerians being proud to be Nigerians.
5 in 10 Nigerians (51 Percent) said they are proud to be Nigerians because ‘it is their Mother’s land’, which depicts the level of patriotism Nigerians have; even in the face of prevalent challenges. Conversely, Nigerians were asked about their reasons for not being proud to be Nigerians and 30 percent of Nigerians stated that ‘nothing is working in the country’. Further findings reveal that in 59 years since independence, some Nigerians (21 Percent) adduced that ‘improvement in the educational system’ is the greatest achievement the country has recorded. Other achievements mentioned by Nigerians include ‘sustainability of democracy’ (16 percent) and ‘sovereignty as a nation’ (14 percent).
Additionally, the survey results reveal that ‘unemployment’ (27 percent) is the main issue Nigerians want the government to address with ‘security’ a close second at 26 percent. At the zonal level, unemployment was cited most in the South East (38 percent) and South-South (35 percent) while security was cited most in the North East (39 percent) and North West (38 percent). It is very important for the government to expedite action in this direction considering the danger it portends for the country. These are key findings from the Independence Day Poll conducted by NOIPolls in the week of September 23rd, 2019.
The survey sought to know how proud Nigerians are and so the question was asked, are you proud to be a Nigerian? The survey results reveal that an overwhelming majority of Nigerians (85 percent) say they are proud to be Nigerians, and the North-West accounted for the highest proportion (93 percent) who say they are proud to be Nigerians. It is especially heart-warming to know that such a large proportion of Nigerians are proud to be citizens despite the glaring and apparent challenges Nigerians are facing which include security, harsh economic realities, a deficit in housing, electricity dilapidation, joblessness, etc. It is hoped that the government will channel its energy in the right direction in ameliorating these seeming challenges.
Trend analysis across the years show that there has been a steady decline in the proportion of Nigerians who say they are proud to be Nigerians. For instance, results in 2012 show it was 93 percent, and then it increased to 94 percent in 2013, then 88 percent in 2017, and 85 percent in 2019. This decline in proportion should not be taken lightly as it shows that citizens are gradually losing their sense of pride as citizens and this may not be unconnected with the various challenges we face as citizens in our day to day activities.
Additionally, Nigerians were asked of the reason they are proud to be Nigerians and the results reveal that 51 percent say they are proud to be Nigerian because ‘it is their motherland’. Other reasons include ‘it’s a peaceful nation’ (13 percent), ‘We are blessed with natural resources’ (9 percent), ‘we are resilient people’ (5 per cent), ‘giant of Africa’, ‘Basic human right I enjoy’, ‘cultural heritage’, ‘I’m being patriotic’ all tied at 4 percent each. ‘Favourable climatic condition’ and ‘sovereignty as a nation’ (2 percent) each amongst other reasons that have been cited by Nigerians.
Conversely, the survey sought to know why respondents say they are not proud to be Nigerians and the results reveal that 30 per cent say that ‘Nothing is working in the country’. Other reasons include ‘bad governance’ (28 percent), ‘economic hardship’ (26 percent), ‘insecurity’ (6 percent), ‘high unemployment’ (4 percent), ‘marginalisation’ and ‘high rate of corruption’ both (3 per cent) apiece. The government needs to work hard to win over this proportion of Nigerians by providing basic amenities in the country.
In order to ascertain the level of achievement of Nigeria in the last 59 years of our nationhood, the survey results revealed that 21 percent of Nigerians say that ‘improvement in education’ is the most important achievement. This is then followed by ‘sustainability of democracy’ (16 per cent). Also, ‘Sovereignty as a nation’ is next (14 per cent), ‘Unity in diversity’ (13 percent), ‘improved infrastructure’ and ‘Improved telecommunications’ (8 percent) apiece, ‘Improved agriculture’ (6 per cent) amongst other achievements.
Nigerians were asked in the course of the survey, the most important issues they would want the government to address head-on and varied responses were received which include ‘unemployment’ (27 per cent) with the South East region accounting for the largest response in that regard (38 per cent). Unemployment is indeed a pressing problem and there is the utmost need to address it as it portends a lot of danger to the nation if not addressed. Other issues Nigerians earnestly want the government to address include ‘Security’ (26 per cent), ‘Poverty’ (13 per cent), ‘Economy’ (10 per cent), and ‘Electricity’ (6 per cent), ‘Education’ (5 per cent) amongst other issues.
Trend analysis over the years shows that the proportion of Nigerians that state job creation as the problem government needs to address increased from 13 per cent in 2016 to 27 per cent in 2019 and also security increased from 6 per cent in 2016 to 26 per cent in 2019. This drastic increase in proportion underscores the importance of addressing this twin issue of security and job creation immediately.’
In conclusion, the poll has shown that despite the many myriads of challenges Nigerians are facing, a majority (85 per cent) identify with being proud to be called Nigerians. It is indeed heart-warming because of the challenges of security, economy, dilapidated infrastructure, etc. amongst other challenges Nigerians are facing. Nigerians gave reasons for being proud to be Nigerians which include ‘it is my motherland’ (51 per cent) which depicts a sense of pride and patriotism amongst the citizens. More so, the proportion of Nigerians who stated that they are not proud to be Nigerians expressed that ‘Nothing is working’ (30 per cent) as their reason for not being proud to be Nigerians. There is the need to address some of the challenges we are facing in different sectors of the country to restore eroded confidence in the citizenry. Also, a large proportion of Nigerians (21 per cent) attested to the fact that education is the most important achievement Nigeria has experienced in the last 59 years.
Indeed, the educational sector has grown over time since independence accounting for many schools at all levels spread across the country. However, there are challenges that need to be addressed in the sector. Lastly, for the country to restore confidence and achieve the dreams of the founding fathers of this country, there is a need for the government to address the various myriads of challenges we are facing in the country. It is hoped that in the nearest future, Nigerians will experience great development in their overall wellbeing, and only then will all Nigerians truly be proud to be Nigerians.
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