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2017: Employment, Business Start-Up Top Priority for Nigerians; Positive Outlook Maintained on Secur

Abuja, Nigeria. January, 2017 –Latest public opinion poll results released by NOIPolls have revealed some of the personal goals and aspirations that Nigerians have for 2017, such as the desire to secure employment or change existing jobs (37 percent), starting up new businesses (16 percent) and getting closer to God (14 percent) amongst others. This finding further corroborates several media reports on unemployment and under-employment being one of the major problems that the government needs to tackle.[1]

Furthermore, the efforts of the present administration to tackle the security issues in Nigeria has no doubt influenced the perception of Nigerians towards the security of the nation, as 87 percent asserted that they are hopeful that the security situation in the country will be better than it was in 2016. The huge achievement by the security forces in recapturing the Boko Haram stronghold of Sambisa Forest may have played a role in the current perception on the state of security in Nigeria[2]. Also, 82 percent are optimistic that the economic situation of the country will improve; with 79 percent optimistic that more jobs will be created in 2017. This may not be unconnected with the Federal Government’s social investment program aimed at creating jobs for youths, tagged N-Power. Besides, the recent passage of the bill recognizing the National Peace Corps as a Federal Government Parastatal, under the Ministry of Interior, has become a veritable channel for job creation.

Lastly, when Nigerians were asked what they would do to move the country forward, some said they will be more law abiding (29 percent), create employment through their various businesses (18 percent), become patriotic (11 percent) amongst others. Therefore, the federal government of Nigeria should uphold its tempo at reviving the economy of the country while its citizens should take the right steps towards the advancement of Nigeria. These were some of the key findings from the New Year special poll conducted in the week of January 9th, 2017.

Brief Background

Every New Year brings a lot of excitement, hopefulness and aspiration, and as 2017 beckons, majority of people all over the world are full of expectations, so also are Nigerians. There is hopefulness of a new dawn of possibilities since the nation has been faced with multitudes of challenges characterised by various issues in the preceding years such as the activities of Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East, recent Southern Kaduna killings in the North-West[3], activities of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) in the South-East as well as the Niger Delta Avengers in the South-South, and the herdsmen menace in the North Central, just to mention a few. Business activities have been grounded by these happenings in all those troubled spots and were also complemented by irregular power supply, unemployment, poor exchange rate against the dollar, kidnappings, economic recessions and other crimes which are capable of undermining the development and progress of Nigeria.

The Federal government of Nigeria (FGN), during the presentation of its 2017 Appropriation Bill, nicknamed the budget of recovery and growth, to a joint session of the National Assembly had promised that it has taken necessary steps to stimulate the economy and gave assurances of various investments in key sectors and that those steps were taken to restore business confidence that will guarantee the country’s speedy recovery from recession in 2017.[4] In view of this, NOIPolls conducted its Annual New Year Special Edition Snap Poll survey to ascertain the personal aspirations of Nigerians in the New Year, as well as their optimism about the country and the necessary actions they would take for the purpose of developing the country.

Survey Findings

The survey results revealed that some Nigerians are either unemployed or are not satisfied with their current employment status as 37 percent, which formed the majority, mentioned that they are aiming at getting a job or to have a change of job as their personal goal for 2017. Unemployment is one of the most serious problems facing developing nations today and Nigeria is no different. Being the most populous country in Africa with a population of over 170 million people, Nigeria is blessed with diverse human and material resources. However, her resources have been left under-utilized leading to mass unemployment and abject poverty.

Poll findings also revealed that 16 percent of the respondents disclosed that they aspire to start a business and this could have been triggered by the theories by some economic experts that the year 2017 will be good for businesses to thrive in Nigeria.[5] Also, 14 percent asserted that they would be more religious and this supports a research that ascribed Nigerians as one of the most religious people on earth.[6] The current economic hardship that Nigerians are faced with also played out as 12 percent indicated that they would cut down their expenses, additionally, there is the quest to seek for added knowledge and qualifications as another 12 percent indicated that they would further their education. Some other mentions include ‘improving my business’ (8 percent), ‘get married this year’ (8 percent) and ‘build my own house and buy a car’ (7 percent) among others.

The poll also sought to find out the expectations of Nigerians for 2017 with regards to some issues that affect the wellbeing of the citizens including the economy, security and employment and findings revealed high expectation and optimism around these issues. The larger proportion (87 percent) is optimistic that security will be better this year; similarly, 82 percent of the respondents are hopeful that the economy will be better than last year, while 79 percent stated that they look forward to the employment situation in Nigeria becoming better than it was in 2016.

Furthermore, to determine what Nigerians could do as individuals to contribute in moving the nation forward, the survey revealed some Nigerians (29 percent) especially respondents from the North-West (38 percent) and South-East (35 percent) zones aim to be more law abiding in 2017. More findings revealed that 18 percent of the respondents basically from the South-West zone (26 percent) disclosed that that they intend to create employment through their businesses and this could go a long way in reducing unemployment in the country if it could be actualised. It is also worthy to note that this zone houses Lagos state which is the economic hub of the country. In addition, a section of Nigerians (11 percent) stated they would be patriotic citizens whereas, another proportion (8 percent) believe that prayers will make a positive impact in the country among other positive contributions.

Conclusively, the recent poll results have revealed that 37 percent of adult Nigerians surveyed disclosed that they look forward to getting a job or to have a change of job as one of their personal goals in 2017 while 16 percent aspire to start a business so as to have multiple streams of income. More findings revealed that most Nigerians are very optimistic of a very good living in 2017 as the vast majority of Nigerians are enthusiastic that the security (87 percent), economic (82 percent) and employment (79 percent) situations in Nigeria will be better than it was last year. Finally, Nigerians have asserted that they will be more law abiding (29 percent) and that they will create employment through their various businesses (18 percent) as part of their contribution towards moving the nation forward. Therefore, the federal government of Nigeria should uphold its tempo at reviving the economy of the country while citizens take the right steps towards the advancement of Nigeria.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week of January 9th 2017. 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%.


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.

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