Nigeria’s economy grew by 6.3 percent last year. Yet most Nigerians are dissatisfied with the economic situation of the country, as a shortage of jobs, rising prices of goods and services, widening rich-poor gap and public debt ,constitute very big problems to most Nigerians, a new survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted in 39 countries has revealed.
The poll shows that 91 percent of the Nigerians surveyed decry the shortage of job opportunities, 85 percent are worried about rising prices, 78 percent complain about the yawning gap between the rich and the poor, and 64 percent are unhappy about the level of public debt in the country.
The Pew Global Attitudes Report released last Thursday shows that the global downturn that started after 2007 has had a profound impact on many countries’ economies with inequality seen to be rising.
When asked which of the four economic issues – inflation, unemployment, inequality or debt – the government should address first, 60 percent of the Nigerians surveyed wanted the government to focus on creating job opportunities as a top priority, followed by taming inflation.
Among the six African countries (Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria and Uganda) surveyed, Nigerians (32 percent) are the least satisfied with their national economic situation. Most satisfied are South Africans (53 percent), whose economy grew by 2.5 percent in 2012 according to the International Monetary Fund, and Kenyans (52 percent), whose economy expanded by 4.7 percent.
The 39 countries surveyed are divided into three categories – advanced economies, emerging markets and developing economies, based on World Bank income groupings, size of the economy and expert classifications. Apart from South Africa in the emerging markets category, other African countries are regarded as developing economies.
However, regardless of their dissatisfaction with current economic conditions in the country, many Nigerians (66 percent) are optimistic that the economy of the country will improve over the next 12 months, 17 percent say it will stay the same, and 11 percent reckon it will worsen.
The most optimistic Africans are the Senegalese, of whom 69 percent think their economy will improve.