Tuesday 1 September 2015

Majority of Nigerians see cross-border movement as difficult

A majority of Nigerians value their right to move freely within West Africa but say that crossing borders for work or trade is difficult, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.

The survey findings provide a snapshot of Nigerians’ mixed views on their country’s international relations, including their difficulties in crossing international borders, their assessment of assistance provided by the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), their preference for the United States as a model for Nigeria’s development, and their appreciation of China’s contributions as a business and development partner.

These findings are detailed in Afrobarometer Dispatch No. 43. Other survey findings on Nigeria are explored dispatches No. 11, 18, and 29. All are available at www.afrobarometer.org.

Key findings
  • Six in 10 Nigerians (62%) say West Africans should be able to move freely across international borders in order to trade or work, but more than half (54%) say that doing so is “difficult” or “very difficult.”
  • The United States is the preferred development model for Nigeria, favoured by 43% of respondents, followed by China (25%).
  • Two-thirds (67%) of Nigerians perceive China’s economic and political influence on Nigeria as “very positive” or “somewhat positive.”
  • Two-thirds (67%) say they did not receive remittances from friends or relatives living outside of the country during the previous year.
Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues across more than 30 countries in Africa. Five rounds of surveys were conducted between 1999 and 2013, and Round 6 surveys are currently under way (2014-2015). Afrobarometer conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples.

Fieldwork for Afrobarometer Round 6 in Nigeria was conducted by Practical Sampling International (PSI) in collaboration with the CLEEN Foundation. PSI interviewed 2,400 adult Nigerians between 5 December 2014 and 19 January 2015. The sample covered 33 of Nigeria’s 36 states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory. It was not possible to conduct interviews in three states in the North East zone – Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe – due to unrest in the region, so substitutions of sampling units were made from neighbouring states in the same zone. Thus, each of the country’s zones is represented in proportion to its share of the national population. A sample of this size yields results at the national level with a margin of sampling error of +/-2% at a 95% confidence level. Previous Afrobarometer surveys have been conducted in Nigeria in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2012.
Figure 1: Difficulty of crossing West African borders | Nigeria | 2014

Respondents were asked: In your opinion, how easy or difficult is it for people in West Africa to cross international borders in order to work or trade in other countries, or haven’t you heard enough to say? (%)
Figure 2: Perceptions of ECOWAS and AU assistance to Nigeria | 2014

Respondents were asked: In your opinion, how much does each of the following do to help your country, or haven’t you heard enough to say: a) The Economic Community for West African States or ECOWAS?  b) The African Union? (%)

Figure 3: Best model for development | Nigeria | 2014

Respondents were asked: In your opinion, which of the following countries, if any, would be the best model for the future development of our country? (%)
Figure 4: Contributors to China’s negative image in Nigeria | 2014

Respondents were asked: Which of the following factors contributes most to negative images of China in Nigeria, or haven’t you heard enough to say? (%)
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Willie A. Eselebor, 
Executive Director
CLEEN Foundation
Telephone: (+234) 1-493-3195
Email: cleen@cleen.org

Visit us online at: www.cleen.org and www.afrobarometer.org

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @Afrobarometer.

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