Africa Polling Institute (API), an independent research think-tank, in Abuja, organised a one-day workshop to discuss the subject of social cohesion and how to promote inclusion in society.
Mr Olugbenga Ogunmefun, Director of Research, API, said the aim of the workshop is to improve on the methodology of its upcoming survey, which seeks to find out the impeding factors to social cohesion in the country.
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He said the survey, which has the support of the Ford Foundation, is the third round of the Nigeria Social Cohesion Project, which aims at widening the focus and scope of social cohesion in Nigeria.
According to him, the objective of this project is to measure and track the degree of social cohesion in Nigeria and to proffer insightful guide into public policy formulation.
“From the findings of the last one, we found out that Nigeria is not socially cohesive, we are at about 43.53 per cent and that is below average.
“Between last year and this year what has really changed, is Nigeria a better place, is Nigeria more socially cohesive than last year.
“These are the things we are going to find out, we cannot preempt what is going to happen and what the data findings will be.
“That is the essence of coming together and revisiting the survey instrument, revisiting the methodology and at the end of the exercise, we go out to the field and gather data.
“So that at the end of the whole exercise, the survey instrument will be an improvement if need be and be sustained from what we had last year,” he said.
Mr Segun Olajonrin, a Senior Research Manager of the Institute, who spoke on the review of methodology, said the survey would be national in outlook as samples from the 36 states and the FCT would be included in the survey.
“What we mean by social cohesion is togetherness, are we together as a country, what makes us have some level of disparities between ourselves and what are the factors and indicators that have torn us apart over the years, that is exactly what we are looking at.
“We are using 5,000 sample size because it was the same size that was used in 2019 and in 2020/2021 and we want to maintain the same sample and the trend.
“As it stands right now, we want to embark on the field for data collection, and data collection usually takes like four weeks or a month to collect data.
“After that, the analysis will be done but the methodology we will be adopting is the quantitative approach.
“And it involves multi-stage stratified random sampling where the country will be stratified into their respective regions which is the six geo-political zones and further segregated into their states, senatorial districts and local governments areas,” he said.
On her part, Prof Hauwau Yusuf, API Social Cohesion Research Fellow, added that gender equity promotes social cohesion in the country.
Yusuf, who spoke on the topic ‘Gender and Social Cohesion’, also called on the National Assembly to revisit the gender bills recently rejected by the legislatures.
The workshop had in attendance representatives from the various civil society organisations, government agencies among others.