By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-West Africa) has urged President Muhammdu Buhari to focus on job creation, economy revival and security of lives and property of citizens.
The CDD in a statement signed by the director, CDD-West Africa, Idayat Hassan, on Wednesday said it had become imperative to remind the President the need to prioritize the three areas of critical importance to Nigerian in view of the increasing rate of unemployment, poverty and killings going on in the country.
The Centre recently released the 2019 Buharimeter Survey report and the report amongst other findings identified job creation, economy, security and poverty alleviation as the most important policy priorities that Nigerians want President Buhari’s administration to address over the next four years of his 2nd democratically elected tenure.
From the report, the two broad themes seeking critical attention from public opinion are: the revamping of the country’s economy and improving the state of security.
The past surveys by CDD appraised the performance of President Buhari’s administration and track achievements against campaign promises.
However, this latest survey, which marks the 4th in the series of annual perception surveys by the Centre, sought to provide the government with a Citizens’ Road Map of key policy priorities that Nigerians expect the president and his administration to address over the next four years.
The survey was conducted on behalf of CDD by Africa Polling Institute (API), and field work was undertaken between the 24th April and 20th May 2019.
From the survey, emphasis on job creation was stronger in the South (38 percent) than the North (33 percent), while emphasis on security is stronger in the North (33 percent) than the South (14 percent). The highest demand for job creation was from the South-West and North-Central (42 percent for both), while the highest demands for security were from North-East (40 percent) and North West (37 percent).
The 2nd most important policy priorities are, likewise, job creation (17 percent) and security (15 percent) and the ranking holds across gender and age group with exception of the elderly above 64 years whose policy priorities are healthcare (28 percent) and security (15 percent).
Also, while job creation (20 percent) and security (16 percent) are uniformly top priorities in the Northern zones, the leading priorities are job creation and economy (15 percent for each priority) in South East and South South; and security (21 percent) and job creation (12 percent) in the South West. In terms of locality, job creation (19 percent) is ranked above security (13 percent) in rural areas; security (18 percent) was ranked above job creation (15 percent) in semi-urban areas; while the two are ranked equally (16 percent each) in urban areas.
The findings show that poverty eradication (13 percent) and economy (12 percent) are the 3rd most important policy priorities on aggregate. While the aggregate priority ranking holds among women, men ranked poverty eradication and electricity (12 percent for both) as top priorities.
The top priorities also vary across geopolitical zone: education (19 percent) and job creation (16 percent) in North East; economy (13 percent) and security (12 percent) in North West; electricity (14 percent) and economy (13 percent) in North central; corruption (14 percent) and poverty eradication (13 percent) in South East; electricity (13 percent) and a mix of infrastructure, economy and poverty eradication (12 percent each) in South South; while education and electricity are ranked equally (16 percent each) in South West.
On the issue of security, the leading and most prevalent security challenge affecting Nigerians is kidnapping (24 percent). Next is book haram and other insurgencies (19 percent), cultism, political thuggery, hooliganism and terrorism (18 percent), armed robbery, theft or burglary (17 percent) and the farmers-Fulani herdsmen crisis (12 percent). While most attention is currently focused on insurgency, it is very clear from the findings that Nigerians are besieged by a multifaceted security crisis
Given the prominence of job creation, which is a derivative of a strong economy, and security as top most important policy priorities that Nigerians want President Buhari to address, the survey also sought policy recommendations to tackle those issues from survey respondents and experts in the areas of economy and security.