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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Majority of Nigerians Abroad Reside in US and UK - NOIPolls Survey


Abroad Reside In. Key Reason For Migration Is For Economic Opportunities.

Abuja, Nigeria. May 5th, 2015 – Latest snap poll results released by NOIPolls Limited have revealed that the United States of America (67 percent) and the United Kingdom (43 percent) top the list of countries  most Nigerians abroad live in when compared to other countries in the world; thus making North America and Europe the two major continents most Nigerians abroad dwell in. In addition, the larger proportion of Nigerians (61 percent) surveyed affirmed they have a relative/friend living abroad and this is mostly true for Nigerians in the South-West (69 percent), South-South (68 percent) and South-East zones (63 percent). While this finding cannot be used to provide absolute figures on immigration, it suggests a high level of migration of Nigerians to foreign countries.

More findings revealed that most respondents believe Nigerians living abroad are better off in foreign countries with regards to economic opportunities (66 percent), financial stability (66 percent) and living conditions (63 percent); and worse off in terms of social interactions. However, there were variations in these perceptions by continents; for instance, while all respondents (100 percent) who have relatives/friends living in Australia and South America perceive the living conditions of Nigerians to be better off in foreign countries, slightly more than half of the respondents who have relatives/friends in Africa share this same perception. Also, while 84 percent of the respondents (accounting for the largest proportion) who have relatives/friends in Asia believe Nigerians abroad are better in terms of financial stability, 62 percent (representing the least proportion) of respondents who have relatives in North America share this same perception.

Furthermore, most Nigerians (74 percent) are aware of the recent attacks on foreigners in South Africa and to this effect, majority (35 percent) suggest the Federal Government should ‘advise citizens to come back home’.  Another proportion recommend a ‘diplomatic dialogue’ (25 percent) between both countries in order to secure Nigerians living in South Africa. Moreover 17 percent believe a long term strategy among other suggestion, such as ‘employment creation’ in Nigeria would reduce the migration of Nigerians to South Africa. These are the key findings from the Migration poll conducted in the week of April 27th 2015.

Brief Background

Migration is the movement of people to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions. Suggestion: Migrants undertake such travels with the hope of securing better quality of life. Migrants risk everything in anticipation of a greener pasture. According to UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, “so far in 2014, over 200,000 refugees and migrants have arrived by sea into the Mediterranean, compared to 60,000 recorded migrants in 2013. The southern shores of the Mediterranean have an estimation of over 600,000 illegal immigrants waiting to embark on the voyage while several thousands have drowned in the past few years”. [1]

Several reasons have been attributed to why people chose to migrate; poverty, lack of liveable wage, warfare, insecurity, economic calamities, political unrest, social battle and lack of basic amenities, these reasons have prompted people to leave their country to a perceived ‘safe haven’. Based on some testimonies, migration is worth the risk to some set of people, while others who recount their ordeal wished they never embarked on the uncertain journey.[2]

Against this background, NOIPolls conducted it recent poll on migration to gauge the perceptions of Nigerians on migration and on vital socio-economic attributes relating to migration. The poll also sought to gauge the awareness of Nigerians on the recent happenings in South Africa.

Survey Findings

Respondents to the poll were asked six specific questions. To gauge the proportions of Nigerians  who have relatives living abroad, respondents were asked: Do you have any relative/friend living abroad? The larger proportion of Nigerians (61 percent) surveyed affirmed they have relative(s)/friend(s) living abroad and majority of respondents in this category are residents of the South-West (69 percent), South-South (68 percent) and South-East zones (63 percent). In addition, 39 percent claimed they do not have any relative/friend living abroad.

Respondents who indicated they have a relative/friend living abroad (61 percent of the total) were further asked: In which continent is your relative/friend living? Findings revealed that North America (39 percent) and Europe (39 percent) topped the list of continents in which the larger proportion of Nigerians indicated they have relatives/friends living in. This is followed by Africa (29 percent) and Asia (14 percent) among other continents.

Further analysis by geo-political zones revealed that the South-South (57 percent) and the North-Central zones accounted for the largest proportion of respondents who have relatives/friends living in the North-American continent, while the North-West (45 percent) and the South-East (34 percent) accounted for the largest proportion of Nigerians whose relative(s)/friend(s) currently reside in a country in Europe. In addition, the majority of respondents in the North-West zone (42%) reported their relative(s)/friend(s) currently live in Africa.

Respondents were also asked: In which country is your relative/friend living? Overall, the larger proportion of respondents reported they have relatives/friends living the United States of America (67 percent). This is followed by 43 percent of the respondents who indicated they have relatives/friends living in the United Kingdom. Other countries indicated by respondents include; South Africa (31 percent), Gambia (31 percent), Canada (16 percent), Malaysia (12 percent) and Germany (12 percent) among other countries.
To gauge perceptions of respondents on the socio-economic welfare of Nigerians living aboard, respondents were asked: In your opinion, compared to Nigeria, do you think Nigerians are better off or worse off in foreign countries in terms of the following attributes (Living Conditions, Economic Opportunities, Financial Stability and Social Interaction)? Overall, most respondents were of the opinion that Nigerians living abroad are better off in foreign countries in terms of economic opportunities (66 percent), financial stability (66 percent) and living conditions (63 percent). On the contrary, respondents perceive Nigerians living abroad to be worse off in terms of their social interactions with their host communities.

Further analysis by continents revealed that majority of the respondents perceive the living conditions of Nigerians living abroad to be better off than in Nigeria, though variations of such perception differ per continent. While all respondents (100 percent) who have relatives/friends living in Australia and South America perceive the living conditions of Nigerians to be better off, slightly more than half of the respondents (58 percent) who have relatives/friends in Africa share this same perception.

The same level of perception may be applied as regards economic opportunities for Nigerians residing in South Africa and Australia, with respondents stating that such Nigerians are better off abroad, while 65 percent of respondents who have relatives/friends in North America accounted for the least proportion of respondents who share this perception.

In terms of social interaction, the majority believe Nigerians are worse of in foreign countries than in Nigeria and this perception is mostly held by respondents who have friends/relatives living in South-America (82 percent). In addition, the majority of respondents who have relative(s)/friend(s ) living in Australia believe Nigerians living abroad  have the same level of social interaction as in Nigeria.

Furthermore, respondents were asked: Are you aware of the recent attacks on foreigners in South Africa? The findings revealed that most Nigerians (74 percent) acknowledged awareness of the recent attacks on foreigners in South Africa whereas, 26 percent are not informed of the recent happenings in South Africa.

 


Finally, respondents who showed awareness of the recent attacks in South-Africa (74 percent of the total) were further asked: In your own words, what do you think the Nigerian government should do to secure its citizens in South Africa? Responses revealed that 35 percent of Nigerians suggest that the Federal Government should ‘advise citizens to come back home’. Also, 25 percent recommend a ‘diplomatic dialogue’ that would secure Nigerians living in South Africa, while (17 percent) suggested ‘employment creation’ in Nigeria would reduce the migration of Nigerians to South Africa amongst other suggestions.

Analysis by gender revealed that more female (37 percent) than male (31 percent) respondents suggested the Federal Government should advise citizens to come to Nigeria, whereas more male (29 percent) than female (21 percent) respondents recommended a diplomatic dialogue between the two nations that would aid in securing Nigeria citizens residing in South Africa.

 


In conclusion, the poll revealed that slightly more than 6 in 10 Nigerians confirmed that they have relatives living abroad with the majority living in the US (67 percent) and the UK (43 percent) which represents North America and Europe. In addition, most respondents were of the opinion that Nigerians living abroad are better off in the countries in which they reside in terms of economic opportunities (66 percent), financial stability (66 percent) and living conditions (63 percent), however respondents also believe that Nigerian migrants living in these foreign countries are worse off with regards to social interaction. Finally, most Nigerians (74 percent) acknowledged awareness of the recent attacks on foreigners in South Africa, with a majority of the respondents (35 percent) suggesting that the Federal Government should ‘advise citizens to come back home’, while, other respondents recommended a ‘diplomatic dialogue’ (25 percent) would secure Nigerians living in South Africa. In addition, 17 percent of respondents believe that ‘employment creation’ in Nigeria would reduce the migration of Nigerians to South Africa amongst other suggestions

Survey Methods
The opinion poll was conducted in the week of 27th April 2015. 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, No.1 for country-specific polling services in West Africa, works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA). 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

Disclaimer
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.

Press Contact
The Editor
Email: editor@noi-polls.com

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