Children in Nigeria call for leaders to listen on World Children's Day

New UNICEF survey indicates children concerned about poor education, violence, and terrorism

20 November 2017
child interviews UNICEF representative
UNICEF Nigeria/2017
Children speaking with Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative on World Children's Day.

ABUJA, 20 November 2017 – Poor education, violence against children, and terrorism are among the biggest concerns for children in Nigeria, according to a new survey released by UNICEF on World Children’s Day. The survey was carried out in 14 countries across the world and it involved more than 11,000 9 to 18 year old children. In Nigeria, the online survey carried out among 500 children revealed that 8 in 10 children admitted worrying a lot about poor education affecting children across the world, and 7 in 10 children worry a lot about being personally affected by poverty. The results also indicate that 59 per cent of children do not trust their country’s leaders.

“It is clear that children are acutely aware of the challenges their peers face across the world and they are afraid of being affected by these issues themselves,” said Mohamed Fall, Representative of UNICEF Nigeria. “The fact that our young people are telling us they do not think their opinion is heard or it does not have any impact, reflects that they feel powerless and disenfranchised.”

Some of the key survey findings highlighted by children across Nigeria include:

  • Nigerian children are most likely to worry about poor education, violence against children, and terrorism affecting their peers. They also worry about being personally affected by these issues and poverty.
  • Children in Nigeria defined poor education and poverty as issues they wanted world leaders to take action on.
  • Nigerian children are least worried about natural disasters.
  • Barack Obama, Bill Gates, President Buhari, Wole Soyinka, and Mark Zuckerberg are the top personalities children would invite to their birthday.
  • The number one activity choice outside of school among children in Nigeria is reading.
  • 2 out of 3 children in Nigeria do not think their opinion is heard at all or does not have any impact, while 99 per cent believe the world would be a better place if children’s voices were listened to by world leaders.

“It is our duty to listen to children and recommit ourselves to the goal of seeing every child treated fairly,” said UNICEF Representative Fall.

UNICEF is commemorating World Children’s Day, which marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, with children’s 'take-overs' to give children their own platform to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights and fulfil their potential. It is a day for children, by children. In Nigeria these activities include children’s takeovers of media houses across the country amongst other local initiatives.

UNICEF hopes World Children’s Day will inspire governments, businesses and communities across the world to listen to children and incorporate their opinions in decision-making processes that affect them.

Media contacts

Eva Hinds
Communication Specialist
UNICEF Nigeria
Tel: +234 906 2222 216
Geoffrey Njoku
Communication Specialist
UNICEF Nigeria
Tel: +234 803 525 0288

Notes to Editors

World Children’s Day

UNICEF worked with global research leader Kantar and its data insights agency Lightspeed to poll more than 11,000 children aged between 9 and 18 years old in 14 countries about their concerns and attitudes on global issues including bullying, conflict/war, poverty, terrorism and violence against children. The countries surveyed were: Brazil, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

For more information about World Children’s Day, please go to

About Lightspeed

Lightspeed is a data company for the insights market. Quality-seeking researchers, marketers and brands choose Lightspeed as their trusted global partner for digital data collection. Our innovative technology, proven sampling methodologies and operational excellence facilitate a deep understanding of consumer opinions and behavior. With 700 employees working in 14 countries, we maximize digital research capabilities. We empower clients by revealing information that is beneficial, providing clarity and research data that illuminates.

Lightspeed is part of Kantar, one of the world’s leading data, insight and consultancy companies. For more information, visit


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Nigeria, visit

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