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Buhari government overall approval rating

We saw the sharpest decline in the month-to-
month approval ratings for the president yet
in our polls. High approval ratings dropped
from 63.4% in January to 32.8% in the
February poll. Overall, a slight majority of
Nigerians (50.4%) gave the Buhari
administration average (17.6%) or high
approval ratings (32.8%). As with previous
polls, we provided respondents with a 5 point-
scale response to this question. We
maintained our approach of not using a
simple forced two-scale measure of approval
(Yes or No) to enable a deeper understanding
of the nuances that informed respondents’
choices. A positive approval rating in our
terminology refers only to those respondents
that reported either an “Excellent” or “Good”
rating. A negative rating comprises of those
individuals that reported a “Poor” or “Very
Poor” rating.
Security, Anticorruption, Power and the
Economy are priority areas

Respondents were provided with a number of
key segments and focus areas for the
government and were required to provide a
forced three tier ranking (High, Medium,
Low) of their perceptions of the importance of
each of the areas.
Under the “High” ranking response, security
(Boko Haram Crisis) was rated as the most
important area of concern and/or interest by
55% of Nigerians, continuing the trend from
the January poll. The top 5 rated areas overall
were Security (55%), Anti-Corruption (51%),
Power (51%), Economy & Jobs (50%) and
Education (45%).
Anticorruption war remains popular, but
concerns grow over abuse of rule of law

Support for the anti-corruption war dropped
from about 76% in the January poll, to just
under 45% in this poll. We also saw an
increase in the number of Nigerians that are
critical of the way the anti-corruption war is
being prosecuted. More Nigerians indicated
that the anti-corruption war targets the
president’s political opponents (34.4% in
February vs 15.5% in January) and opposition
PDP members (33.1% in February vs 16.8% in
January). Those expressing concern about the
potential for abuse of the rule of law in the
prosecution of corruption cases increased
from 21.5% in the January poll to 35.3% in
It is not clear why this shift in the support for
the anticorruption war has occurred. Future
polls will include questions aimed at better
understanding the basis for this shift.
Anticorruption and Security remain bright
spots; Nigerians score government low on
economy, housing, healthcare, education and

The government received low ratings from
majority of respondents in six of the nine
areas surveyed. The worst ranked areas were
Housing (74%), Economy & Jobs (73%),
Healthcare (62%), Transportation (62%),
Power (59%) and Education (58%).
Combining “High” and “Medium” ratings, the
three highest ranked areas are Anticorruption
(75%), Security (70%) and Availability of
Petroleum Products (60%).
Majority of Nigerians are against devaluation
of the Naira

A majority of Nigerians (62.6%) indicated
opposition to the devaluation of the Naira.
While this position is popular, most
economists have indicated that the Buhari’
government’s defense of the Naira is not
sustainable in the long run given the lack of
sufficient reserves to offset the dollar deficit
that has led to downward pressures on the
value of the Naira.
Majority shift blame on Economy to Buhari
government – reversing earlier trends that
laid responsibility on the Jonathan

For the first time since the Buhari presidency,
more Nigerians held the current government
responsible for the current state of the
Nigerian economy. In the February poll, 35%
of Nigerians indicated that the Buhari
government was “completely to blame” for the
state of the Nigerian economy (versus 14% in
the January poll), compared to 30% who
indicated the past government of Goodluck
Jonathan was to blame (compared to 59% in
the January poll). This seismic shift in
responsibility for the economy to the Buhari
administration marks a major change in
attitudes by the Nigerian people. President
Buhari made more economic policy statements
in the month of February than at any other
time in his administration, which clearly
signaled to the Nigerian people that his
government’s policy choices are directly
responsible for their economic realities.
Majority are troubled by the economy,
optimism about the future drops

Majority of Nigerians (55.3%) expressed
concerns about the economy – an increase
from the January poll (37.6%). On every
metric measured, Nigerians were generally
more negative about their current and future
economic prospects. Optimism about the
economy dropped from 45.2% in the January
poll to 30.3% in February. Positive feelings
about the future, dropped from 51.1% to
35.8%. The percentage of respondents
indicating that they saw encouraging signs for
jobs and employment dropped from 33.6% to
20.6%. The percentage of respondents
indicating that they saw no signs that
anything was being done by the Buhari
government to create jobs, increased from
18.7% to 36%.
Kachikwu continues to shine in ministerial
performance ratings; Lai maintains second

Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State for
Petroleum retained his position as the highest
rated minister, with 33.3% of respondents
giving him high ratings (very high plus high).
Lai Mohammed was the second rated minister
with 22.3% high ratings. Raji Fashola, was
rated third for his work in the power sector
(15.2%), while Adebayo s**ttu, the
Communications Minister was ranked a close
fourth with 15.1%.
Nigerian Senate maintains lowest approval
rating of major governmental institutions
(12%); Army is the most respected national
institution (49%)

Respondents were asked to rate the two (2)
major political parties and ten (10) major
governmental institutions, i.e., the
Presidency, Senate, House of Representatives,
Army, Police, Judiciary, the 3 anti-corruption
organs – EFCC, ICPC and CCB and the Central
The Nigerian Army was the most highly rated
governmental institution, with 49.4% of
respondents rating it as high or very high.
The EFCC ranked second with 33.7% of
respondents giving it high or very high
ratings. The Presidency ranked third with
32.4% high approval ratings.
The APC was the highest ranked political
party, with 16.3% high approval ratings
compared to the PDP’s 4.2%.
Majority disapprove of government’s handling
of Fulani Herdsmen attacks

The Buhari government continued to receive
high approvals for its handling of the Boko
Haram crisis (66%). As the Shiite – Military
conflict has dragged on, the approval ratings
for the government’s handling of that conflict
has dropped, with 42% now showing support
for the government’s handling of that conflict,
compared to 59% in the January poll. 61% of
respondents disapprove of the government’s
handling of the pro-Biafra agitation. As news
of rampaging attacks by Fulani herdsmen in
an increasing number of communities have
continued to emerge, the government’s
handling of this crisis has come under
increasing scrutiny. Nigerians’ views about
the Buhari government’s handling of the
Fulani herdsmen crisis has dropped to a new
low, as 79% of respondents rated the
government’s handling of the Fulani
herdsmen attacks as poor or very poor,
compared to 60% in the January poll.
Disaffection with both major political parties

An increasing number of Nigerians continue
to indicate that they do not support any
political party. In the February poll, the
number of independents increased to 71.6%.
Those expressing support for the APC dropped
to 19.9% from the January poll value of 31.1%,
while the number of Nigerians expressing
support for the PDP in this poll was 8.6%.
Ali Modu Sherriff’s selection as PDP Chairman
not considered favorable

A major development in the January –
February timeframe was the PDP’s
controversial selection of Ali Modu Sheriff as
the new party Chairman. A majority of
respondents (88.4%) indicated that Mr.
Sheriff’s selection would not make it more
likely for them to support the PDP. When we
analyzed the impact of Mr. Sheriff’s selection
on respondents who had indicated that they
do not support any political party, 90.72%
indicated that his choice as leader of the PDP
did not enhance their view of the party.
Amongst Nigerians who indicated that they
were supporters of the PDP, Mr. Sherriff’s
selection was viewed negatively by 58.62% of
Methodology & Disclosure
The survey was administered using electronic
media between February 22nd and 29th, 2016.
A total of 757 complete responses were
received. The survey results have a 4%
margin of error at a 95% confidence level.
The Governance Advancement
Initiative for Nigeria (GAIN) Poll is a public
service survey intended to track the
performance of government at all levels and
provide feedback from the public to their
elected officials. GAIN also periodically
publishes policy statements to provide
perspectives on key policy and governance
areas. GAIN surveys are coordinated by Dr.
Malcolm Fabiyi and Dr. Adeleke Otunuga. Any
inquiries regarding the survey should be
directed toclaypolconsult


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