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10 Key Issues that Matter to Nigerian Voters

10 Key Issues that Matter to Nigerian Voters

This article will examine the most important issues that matter to Nigerian voters. These are key issues that shape Nigeria’s elections and can make undecided voters to change their mindset. Political party candidates who can develop strategic plans on how to address these issues can win the trust and support of the voters.

Nigeria is a country of over 200 million people, and it is known for its diversity, complexity, and challenges. The country has a history of political instability, economic inequality, and social tensions. With the upcoming general elections, there are several key issues that matter to Nigerian voters. Here are 10 of them:


10 Key Issues that Matter to Nigerian Voters


#1. Security:

Security is one of the most significant concerns for many Nigerian voters. Nigeria has been grappling with a series of security challenges, including insurgency, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, communal clashes, and political violence and ethnic conflicts. These issues have not only caused loss of lives and properties but have also undermined the country’s social and economic development. Although, the government has made efforts to address these issues, but the situation has not improved significantly. Voters want to know what specific measures political candidates have in mind to tackle insecurity in Nigeria.

One of the primary security concerns for Nigerian voters is the ongoing insurgency in the Northeast region of the country, spearheaded by the Boko Haram terrorist group. Boko Haram has been responsible for numerous attacks on civilians, security personnel, and government installations, resulting in thousands of deaths and displacement of millions of people. The group has also expanded its activities to neighboring countries, creating a regional security threat. Banditry and kidnapping have also become rampant in various parts of the country, particularly in the Northwest and North-central regions. These criminal activities have led to the loss of lives and properties, displacement of communities, and the disruption of economic activities.

Another security issue that matters to Nigerian voters is the spate of communal clashes, particularly between farmers and herders. These clashes have resulted in loss of lives and properties and have also exacerbated ethnic and religious tensions. In addition to these security challenges, political violence during elections has also become a major concern for Nigerian voters. Political actors have often employed violence and thuggery to intimidate opponents and manipulate election results, undermining the credibility of the democratic process.


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Aaddressing the various security challenges facing Nigeria should be a top priority for any government, whether at local, regional or federal levels. The government needs to take decisive steps to address the root causes of insecurity, including poverty, youth unemployment, and corruption. It must also strengthen security institutions, improve intelligence gathering and sharing, and promote inter-agency collaboration, media coverage to effectively tackle the security challenges facing the country.


#2. Corruption:

Corruption is another critical topic in Nigerian politics. The country has a long history of corruption, which has contributed to poverty, inequality, and underdevelopment. Voters may want to know how parties candidates plan to tackle corruption in Nigeria, which is often deeply entrenched in Nigerian institutions. There are several corruption issues that matter to Nigerian voters, including embezzlement of public funds, bribery, and nepotism.

One of the main corruption issues in Nigeria is the embezzlement of public funds. This issue occurs when public officials siphon money meant for developmental projects or other public services and divert it into their private accounts. This form of corruption deprives Nigerian citizens the benefits that come from these public resources, such as improved infrastructure, healthcare, and education.

Bribery is also a major concern for Nigerian voters, particularly when it comes to law enforcement and the Nigerian judicial system. Bribery can result in perpetrators of crimes and injustice, escaping punishment or individuals gaining unfair advantages in business dealings and investments in some sectors. Nepotism is another significant issue that matters to Nigerian voters. It occurs when public officials use their positions of power to favor family members, tribe men, or close associates over other qualified individuals. This practice undermines meritocracy and can lead to inefficiency in government operations and poor governance.

Corruption hinders development, promotes inequality, and erodes trust in government institutions. Addressing corruption in Nigeria requires sustained efforts to promote transparency and accountability, ethical tolerance among public officials, as well as a commitment to enforcing existing laws and regulations.


#3. Economy:

The state of the economy is a significant concern for Nigerian voters. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and one of its largest untaped economies in the world. The country’s economy has been struggling, with high inflation rates, high unemployment, and low growth rates.Today voters want to know how candidates plan to create jobs, boost economic growth, and tackle inflation. Here are some of the economy issues that matter to Nigerian voters:

Unemployment is one of the most significant economic issues in Nigeria. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s unemployment rate stood at 37.7% as of Q4 2022. The high unemployment rate is a source of concern for many Nigerians, particularly young people. Inflation has also been on the rise in Nigeria, with the consumer price index (CPI) increasing by 22.04% in March 2023. This has led to a rise in the cost of living, making it difficult for many Nigerians to afford basic goods and services.

Again, Nigeria has one of the highest poverty rates in the world, with over 40% of its population of over 200 million people living below the poverty line. Like corruption, poverty is a major concern for many Nigerians, who struggle to access basic necessities such as food, healthcare, and education. Addressing these issues is crucial to the country’s economic development and the well-being of its citizens.


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#4. Education:

Education is a crucial issue for Nigerian voters, as it directly impacts the country’s development and progress. Nigeria has a large population of young people, and education is crucial for their future success. However, the education system in Nigeria faces many challenges, including poor funding, inadequate infrastructure, and low teacher morale. Voters want to know how candidates plan to improve on education in Nigeria.

Access to quality education is a fundamental human right, and the lack of it can have significant consequences on an individual’s life and the nation as a whole. Many Nigerians, especially those in rural areas, lack access to quality education due to inadequate infrastructure, lack of teachers, and insufficient funding. The government must prioritize and ensure that all Nigerians, regardless of their gender, location or socioeconomic status, have access to quality education.

The quality of education in Nigeria is often inadequate, with a high number of illiterates and low literacy rates. This issue has been attributed to the poor quality of teachers, inadequate teaching materials, and outdated curricula. Nigerian voters want the government to invest in improving the quality of education in the country by investing in teacher training, updating the curriculum and teaching materials, and ensuring that schools have adequate facilities.

Education funding is another significant issue for Nigerian voters. The government’s inadequate funding of education has resulted in a shortage of facilities, poor teacher remuneration, poor students performances and inadequate infrastructure. Nigerian voters want the government to increase education funding, improve the transparency and accountability of the education budget, and ensure that funds are utilized effectively.

Aside formal education, the Nigerian voters are increasingly recognizing the importance of technical and vocational education in the country’s development. There is a need for the government to invest in technical and vocational education to provide young people with practical skills that will help them to be self-reliant, employable and contribute to national development.


#5. Healthcare:

Healthcare is one of the most pressing issues that matter to Nigerian voters. Nigeria’s healthcare system is in a state of crisis, with inadequate infrastructure, a shortage of medical personnel, and low investment in the sector. Many Nigerian politicians travel abroad for medical treatments which is as a result of the bad conditions of the country’s medical facilities. Voters want to know how candidates plan to improve healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

Despite being the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria’s healthcare system is severely underfunded, and the quality of care is often substandard. This has led to widespread dissatisfaction among Nigerians, who are demanding urgent action to improve the country’s healthcare system.

One of the major healthcare issues that matter to Nigerian voters is the lack of access to affordable healthcare. Many Nigerians, especially those living in rural areas, do not have access to basic healthcare services, such as immunization, prenatal care, and emergency services. This has led to a high rate of maternal and infant mortality, as well as the spread of preventable diseases in Nigeria.

Another major healthcare issue that matters to Nigerian voters is the shortage of healthcare professionals. Nigeria has one of the lowest ratios of healthcare workers to population in the world, with only one doctor for every 5,000 people. This shortage has led to a high workload for healthcare workers; especially doctors and nurses, which in turn has resulted in poor quality of care and burnout.

Corruption and mismanagement in the public healthcare sector are also major concerns for Nigerian voters. Funds meant for healthcare development are often misappropriated, leading to a lack of equipment, drugs, and other essential medical supplies. This has further compounded the healthcare crisis in Nigeria. Addressign these challenges require increased funding, training and retention of healthcare professionals, and a crackdown on corruption and mismanagement in the healthcare sector.


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#6. Power supply:

You are still asking what really matters to voters in Nigeria? Power supply has been a longstanding issue that has affected the lives of Nigerian voters for decades. It is an issue that cuts across various sectors of the economy and impacts the daily lives of millions of Nigerians. The Nigerian power sector has been plagued with a myriad of issues ranging from poor infrastructure, inadequate funding, corruption, and policy inconsistencies. Voters want to know how candidates plan to tackle the power supply problem and improve access to electricity.

One of the major issues that matter to Nigerian voters is the erratic power supply. The frequent power outages in the country have led to significant economic losses, particularly for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that rely on electricity to power their businesses. Many Nigerians also rely on electricity to power their homes, and the inconsistent power supply has led to increased energy costs, as they have to rely on generators and other sources of alternative power.

Another issue that matters to Nigerian voters is the high cost of electricity tariffs. Despite the inconsistent power supply, electricity tariffs in Nigeria are some of the highest in the world. This has made it difficult for many Nigerians to afford basic electricity services, further exacerbating the issue of energy poverty. Again, corruption in the power sector is another issue that matters to Nigerian voters. The mismanagement of funds and lack of transparency in the power sector have contributed to the underdevelopment of the Nigerian nation, leaving many Nigerians without access to basic electricity services.

Any political party that hopes to win public support must have a clear and actionable plan to addressing the Nigerian power supply issues. The Nigerian government also must invest in the power sector, implement policies that support the growth of the sector, and ensure that funds allocated to the sector are used for their intended purposes.


#7. Infrastructure:

Infrastructure is a critical issue that matters to Nigerian voters, as the country’s infrastructure remains underdeveloped. The country’s infrastructure is inadequate, with poor road networks, inadequate public transportation systems, and a lack of basic amenities such as water and electricity. Many voters want to know how candidates plan to improve infrastructure in Nigeria.

Poor infrastructure has a direct impact on the quality of life of Nigerians, particularly in the areas of transportation, electricity, and water supply. Nigerian voters have repeatedly expressed their dissatisfaction with the government’s failure to provide adequate infrastructure, and they have made it clear that they expect their elected officials to address this issue.

One of the most pressing infrastructure issues in Nigeria is the poor state of the country’s road network. Nigerian roads are riddled with potholes and are generally in a state of disrepair, which makes transportation difficult and unsafe. This has resulted in a high number of accidents, and many Nigerians have lost their lives as a result of poor road conditions. In addition, the country’s rail network is outdated and in need of significant investment to bring it up to modern standards.

Another significant infrastructure issue in Nigeria is the lack of reliable and affordable electricity. Many Nigerians have to rely on generators to power their homes and businesses, as the national power grid is unable to meet the demand for electricity. This has a significant impact on the country’s economy, as it makes it difficult for businesses to operate effectively and hinders economic growth. Many big companies have relocated to other countries in Africa like Ghana due to the epileptic power supply in Nigeria.

Also, the water supply system in Nigeria is not working, and many Nigerians do not have access to clean drinking water. This has led to the spread of water-borne diseases, which have a significant impact on public health. In fact, the provision of adequate infrastructure is essential for the economic development and well-being of the country, and Nigerian voters will be closely watching to see how the government tackles this issue.


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#8. Agriculture:

Agriculture is a vital sector in Nigeria, employing over 70% of the population and contributing significantly to the country’s GDP. As such, it is a critical issue that matters to Nigerian voters. However, the sector faces many challenges, including low productivity, inadequate infrastructure, and limited access to credit. Voters want to know how candidates plan to improve agriculture in the country.

Nigeria has experienced several food crises in recent years, with a high level of food insecurity in many parts of the country. Voters are looking for policies that will ensure food security, including investment in irrigation, improved seed varieties, and better storage facilities. Farmers in Nigeria often struggle to access finance, making it difficult for them to invest in their farms. Many Nigerian voters want the government to implement policies that will make it easier for farmers to access credit and finance to boost their agricultural productivity.

Poor infrastructure, including roads and transportation networks, is a significant issue for Nigerian farmers. Many voters are calling for the government to invest in roads infrastructure to improve access to markets and reduce post-harvest losses. Also, the lack of investment in agricultural research and development is a major concern. Voters want to see more funding directed towards research to improve crop yields, pest control, and agricultural practices in Nigeria.

Again, the issue of land ownership and tenure is a complex issue in Nigeria, with disputes over land ownership often leading to conflict. Many voters want to see the government implement policies that will address land ownership and tenure issues, making it easier for farmers to access land and reducing the risk of conflict. Addressing these issues will require a collaborative effort between the government, farmers, and other stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria’s agriculture sector can reach its full potential.


#9. Tribalism and Ethnicity:

Tribalism and ethnicity are longstanding issues that have plagued Nigerian politics and elections. Nigeria has over 250 ethnic groups, each with its unique culture and traditions. Unfortunately, rather than celebrating and harnessing the strengths of this diversity, political leaders often use ethnicity as a tool to gain political power by causing divisions and conflicts, especially during elections. Voters want to know how candidates plan to address the issue of tribalism and promote national unity.

Tribalism and ethnicity are some of the most critical issues that matter to Nigerian voters. The majority of Nigerians identify first and foremost with their tribe or ethnic group, which often influences their political choices and loyalties. This tendency has led to the marginalization of certain ethnic groups in governance and resource allocation, causing tension and resentment. During elections, politicians often use tribal and ethnic sentiments to sway voters, rather than focusing on key issues that affect all Nigerians. This practice undermines democracy and the development of the country as a whole.

To address these issues, there is a need for a more inclusive and equitable political system that recognizes and values the Nigerian diversity. This requires a concerted effort from the government, civil society organizations, and the citizens themselves to promote national unity, social cohesion, and political stability. Addressing these challenges requires collective action and a commitment to creating a more inclusive and united Nigeria.


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Human rights:

Nigeria is a country with a rich cultural heritage and a diverse population. Despite the progress made in recent years, human rights issues remain a major concern for Nigerian voters. Nigeria has a poor record on human rights, with reports of police brutality, extrajudicial killings, and violations of freedom of speech and expression. Voters want to know how candidates plan to promote human rights and ensure that the government respects the rights of all citizens.

One of the most pressing human rights issues in Nigeria is the lack of access to justice for the majority of its citizens. The judicial system is plagued by delays, corruption, and inefficiency, leading to a backlog of cases that can take years to resolve. This has led to a situation where many Nigerians have lost faith in the justice system, leading to a rise in vigilante justice and mob violence.

Discrimination is another human rights issue that is of great concern to Nigerian voters. Discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, and gender is prevalent in Nigeria, and it has led to tension and violence in some parts of the country. For example, the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast is fueled in part by religious extremism and discrimination against Christians. Similarly, the farmers-herders conflict in the Middle Belt region has its roots in ethnic and religious differences.

Police brutality is another issue that has gained national attention in recent years. The Nigerian police force has been accused of using excessive force, torture, and extrajudicial killings agains citizens. Some of the Nigerian low enforcement agencies have been described as agents of the government rather than protecting the interests of the masses they serve. The #EndSARS protests in October 2020 were sparked by the brutal killing of a young man by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a notorious police unit.

Nevertheless, corruption remains a major human rights issue in Nigeria. Corruption is pervasive, and it has hindered economic development, undermined democracy, and violated the rights of citizens in many cases. Though the government has made efforts to tackle corruption, but progress has been slow, and many Nigerians feel that more needs to be done.This issue needs to be addressed to ensure that all Nigerians enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms. The government must take concrete steps to address these issues, and Nigerians must continue to hold their leaders accountable for the protection of human rights and lives.


Wrappin up: Key Issues that Matter to Nigerian Voters

Nigeria is a complex country with several challenges, and voters are looking for leaders who can address these issues and bring about positive change. The key issues that matter to Nigerian voters include security, corruption, economy, education, healthcare, power supply, infrastructure, agriculture, tribalism and ethnicity, and human rights. Candidates who can articulate clear plans to address these issues are more likely to win the trust and support of the masses

With diverse ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds, the issues that matter to voters vary depending on their location, demographics, and personal experiences. However, here are most common issues that tend to cut across different regions and voter groups. Nigerian voters are looking for leaders who can address these key issues and provide solutions to the challenges facing the country.

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