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News release

Nigerians look to government to limit harmful effects of climate change

31 Oct 2022 Nigeria
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News release
Key findings
  • Only three in 10 Nigerians (30%) say they have heard of climate change (Figure 1).
  • Among those who are aware of climate change: Two-thirds (66%) say it is making life worse, a 24-percentage-point increase since 2020 (Figure 2).
  • Seven in 10 believe that ordinary citizens can help curb climate change (69%) and say that the government needs to take immediate action to limit climate change, even if it is expensive or causes some job losses or other harm to our economy (71%) (Figure 3).
  • More than three-fourths (76%) say the government has the primary responsibility for fighting climate change and limiting its impact. Far fewer place this responsibility mainly on citizens (14%), rich or developed countries (3%), business and industry (2%), and traditional leaders (1%) (Figure 4).
  • But a majority (61%) say the government is performing “fairly badly” or “very badly” in handling climate change. One-fifth (20%) give the government a positive rating, while a similar proportion (19%) are undecided (Figure 5).

A growing proportion of Nigerians say climate change is making life in their country worse, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows.

While only three in 10 Nigerians said they had heard of climate change, those familiar with the issue are increasingly concerned about its impact, according to the survey, which was conducted in March 2022, well before Nigeria’s worst flooding in years killed hundreds and displaced more than a million people.

Citizens believe they can help curb climate change, but most say the government has the primary responsibility for limiting its negative effects.

So far, the government’s efforts on climate action receive a failing grade from Nigerians, who say that key stakeholders – including business and industry, developed countries, and ordinary citizens, in addition to the government – need to do a lot more to limit climate change.