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AD43: Citizens hold mixed views on Nigeria’s international relations

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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 in other countries. But more than half (54%) say that crossing international borders in West Africa is 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.

The international community is watching with intense interest as Nigeria’s new government settles in and begins to pursue its development priorities, which are centred on fighting corruption; creating employment, especially for young people; and improving security. How do Nigerians, in turn, perceive the international community and its role in their country’s development?

Using data from the latest Afrobarometer survey, this analysis examines the views of Nigerian citizens on migration, regional integration, and international assistance and trade. The data suggest that while Nigerians believe in free movement across national borders in West Africa, they find migration in the region to be difficult. Most Nigerians say they do not receive remittances from abroad. They hold mixed views on regional responsibilities vs. national sovereignty and on how helpful the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are to their country. The preferred development model is the United States, but most Nigerians also welcome China’s contributions as a business and development partner.

Daniel Nengak

Nengak Daniel is program manager for the CLEEN Foundation in Lagos, Nigeria.<br />

Raphael Mbaegbu

Raphael is a project manager for NOI Polls

Peter Lewis

Peter is a board member

Oluwole Ojewale

Oluwole Ojewale is assistant program manager at the CLEEN Foundation in Abuja, Nigeria.