Buhari’s Approval Rating Averages At 64 Percent after One Year in Office – NOI Polls
May 29-Today NOIPolls Limited releases its compilation of public opinion poll results on a monthly series of presidential approval rating to appraise the job performance of President Muhammadu Buhari, since assuming office on 29th May 2015; thereby commemorating the 1st year anniversary of his administration.
The results revealed that over the last one year (June 2015 to May 2016) President Buhari has been rated an average job approval of 64 percent; with his highest rating of 80 percent in October 2015, and lowest rating of 42 percent in April 2016. Interestingly, compared to one year ago, 44 percent of Nigerians believe the country is currently moving in the right direction, while 37 percent believe it’s moving in the wrong direction; leaving only 19 percent who believe the country is neither moving in the right nor wrong direction.
Furthermore, in terms of specific indicators, Nigerians rated the president’s performance on Corruption (55 percent) and National Security (47 percent) as average; while he was rated very poorly on Job Creation (14 percent) and handling of the Economy (21 percent). Finally, when asked of the most important issue President Buhari’s administration should focus its attention on addressing over the remaining three years of his tenure, Nigerians identified Unemployment (21 percent), Power (17 percent), and the Economy (16 percent) as the top priority areas. These are the key findings from the Presidential Approval Rating polls conducted between June 2015 and May 2016.
Methodology & Socio-Demographics
Upon President Muhammadu Buhar’s assumption into office exactly a year ago, on 29th May 2015, NOIPolls Limited – Nigeria’s premier public opinion organisation, has been conducting a monthly series of public opinion polls to gauge the opinions of Nigerians and measure the job performance of the president. The polls commenced in June 2015, and is typically conducted on the last week of the month to appraise the president’s job performance for the month, and 12 polls have been conducted so far in this series (June 2015 through May 2016). During this period, pollsters from NOIPolls have spoken to over 12,000 Nigerians across the country.
Interestingly, of the proportionate sample of 12,000 completed interviews conducted over the 12 months period, 51 percent were male respondents, while 49 percent were female respondents. Also, almost 6 in 10 (59 percent) respondents were youths aged between 18 and 35 years of age; and almost 4 in 10 (38 percent) were adults between the ages of 36 and 60 years. A meagre 3 percent of the sampled respondents were aged 61 years and above.
In addition, 24 percent of respondents were resident in the North-West geo-political region of the country; while 20 percent were resident in the South West; 15 percent each in the North-Central & South-South regions; as well as 14 percent from the North-East and 12 percent from the South-East region. Furthermore, 29 percent of the respondents were Self-employed traders, 18 percent were Civil servants, 13 percent were Students, 11 percent were Unemployed persons, 8 percent were Artisans, and 7 percent were Professionals amongst others.
The first question sought to gauge the perception of Nigerians on the job performance of President Muhammadu Buhari. Respondents to the monthly poll were simply asked: Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of President Buhari in the past 1 month? Analysis from the compiled results revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari had an average approval rating of 64 percent over the last one year, with the highest rating of 80 percent gained in the month of October 2015 and the lowest rating of 42 percent in April 2016. On the other hand, 19 percent on average disapprove the job performance of the president, while neither approved or disapproved his performance.
Further analysis of the President’s approval rating based on geo-political zone indicated that the North-West and North-East geopolitical zones with 81 percent each had the highest proportion of respondents who approved of the president’s job performance, while the South-South and South-East zones with 35 percent each accounted for the highest proportion of respondents who disapproved the president’s performance. Interestingly, the average approval of 64 percentcuts across all age groups, although it appears more male than female respondents (67 percent versus 60 percent) seemed to approve his performance.
Similarly, when respondents were further probed on why they approved or disapproved the job performance of the president, the open-ended answers provided were coded as follows (particular for the month of May 2016): those who approved the president’s job performance cited the improved security (31 percent), the fight against corruption (17 percent) and the president’s good intentions (16 percent) amongst other reasons. On the other hand, those who disapproved the president’s performance cited the worsening economy (30 percent), the unrealised expectation for change (29 percent) and the increase in prices of goods and services (21 percent) to mention a few.
Furthermore, the poll asked respondents to rate the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari on some specific indicators and areas using aLikert scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is very poor and 5 is excellent. Unsurprisingly, President Buhari had his highest rating for his performance on Corruption with an average of 55 percent, where Nigerians believe his administration has made the greatest impact. This was followed by 47 percent for National Security and 43 percent for Power, both within average performance ratings. Unfortunately, President Buhari was rated very poorly for his performance on Job Creation (14 percent) and the worsened state of the Economy (21 percent), where Nigerians feel his administration has made the least impact. Poor performance ratings were also given for Education (23 percent), Agriculture & food security (24 percent), Healthcare (24 percent), and Conflict resolution (32 percent).
In addition to rating specific indicators, in the May 2016 series of the poll, Nigerians were also asked a retrospective question of the direction they believe the country was moving, casting their minds back to one year ago when President Buhari took the oath of office. Interestingly, compared to one year ago, about 44 percent of Nigerians believe the country is currently moving in the right direction, (with 35 percent and 9 percent who believe Nigeria is moving to the “right direction” and “strongly right direction” respectively). Conversely, about 37 percent of respondents believe Nigeria is moving in the wrong direction (with 24 percent and 13 percent who believe Nigeria is moving to the “wrong direction” and “strongly wrong direction” respectively). However, about 19 percent of respondents seem neutral or believe the country is neither moving in the right nor wrong direction.
Further analysis revealed that while respondents based in the North-East (65 percent) and North-West (59 percent) geopolitical zones make up the highest proportion of those who believe Nigeria is moving in the right direction; respondents from the South-East (62 percent) and South-South (53 percent) make up more of those who believe the country is moving in the wrong direction.
Finally, Nigerians were given the opportunity to recommend the most important issue(s) that President Buhari’s administration should focus its attention on addressing in the remaining three years of its tenure. The result revealed that three key issues are paramount on the minds of Nigerians – Unemployment (21 percent), Power/Electricity (17 percent), and the state of the Economy (16 percent). Others include Food & Agriculture (11 percent), Education (9 percent), and Security (7 percent) amongst others.
In conclusion, the results from the compilation of the monthly presidential approval ratings conducted by NOIPolls on President Buhari’s administration over the last one year puts the president’s job performance on an average overall rating of 64 percent. However, we note that his rating on specific indicators haven’t fared quite well as his highest rating was on Corruption where he scored an average of 55 percent where Nigerians believe his administration has made the greatest impact; followed by National Security (47 percent) and Power (43 percent) where he was rated averagely. President Buhari was also rated quite poorly for his performance on Job Creation (14 percent) and his handling of the Economy (21 percent), where Nigerians believe the impact of his administration has been negligible. On a final note, several areas have been identified by Nigerians as areas which should form the constant thoughts of the president, his ministers and aides, and the top three of these issues are: Unemployment, Power, and the Economy. It is important that the policy thrusts of this administration should focus on programmes and schemes to stimulate the economic climate to allow the private sector create jobs, tackle the incessant power outages & perpetual black-outs experienced in several areas of the country, and policies to kick-start the economy from its current worsened state.