See The Most Popular Ministerial Nominee

Abuja, Nigeria. October 13th, 2015 – Latest poll results released by NOIPolls have revealed that following the recent release of the Ministerial list by President Muhammadu Buhari, almost 7 in 10 Nigerians (68 percent) are pleased with all the nominees, although with varying degrees per nominee. In this regard, former state governors, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN (44 percent), Rotimi Amaechi (31 percent), and Chris Ngige (25 percent); as well as past senator Aisha Alhassan topped the list of Ministerial nominees most appealing to Nigerians, while Hadi Sirika a former Senator (14 percent), Ibrahim Usman Jubrin a former military governor (14 percent) were least mentioned in this category.

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Nominees were also assessed based on familiarity (awareness of the nominee to the general public), as well as their net favourability position (the overall public perception of the candidate which is derived through positive opinions minus negative opinions). In this light, Babatunde Raji Fashola had the highest familiarity (90 percent) as well as net favourability (+61) among all 21 nominees. Similarly, Rotimi Ameachi had a high familiarity (89 percent) compared with Chris Ngige (77 percent) and Kayode Fayemi (71 percent), however they both have higher net favourability (+40 and +45 respectively) compared to Amaechi who had a lower net favourability of +30.

Furthermore as Nigerians await the release of the second list, some respondents (6 percent) indicated Prof Pat Utomi a professor at Lagos Business School, Femi Falana (SAN) a human rights activist and lawyer in Nigeria (4 percent), Charles Soludo past Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (3 percent), Rabiu Kwankwaso a former state governor (3 percent) and Oby Ezekwesili a former minister of Education (2 percent) as possible recommendations for any subsequent Ministerial lists.

Still on governance, recent approval ratings conducted by NOIPolls for the President at the end of September 2015 revealed that the President’s job performance rating for the month of September 2015 increased by 1-point to stand at 78 percent. It is worthy noting that the general increase in his job approval in September 2015 was observed across only 4 geo-political zones (North-Central, North-East, North-West, South-West) with the North-East zone (94 percent) recording the largest number of respondents who approved of the president’s job performance. The positive approval rating of President Buhari is mostly based on the perceived ‘improved security’ (21 percent), ‘improved power supply’ (19 percent) and his ‘campaign against corruption’ (11 percent) across the country amongst other reasons.

Brief background

Nigerians had long-awaited President Muhammadu Buhari’s Ministerial list and it has finally been made public by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on the floor of the senate on the 6th of October 2015.

Though the nominees were a mixture of old politicians, retired military men, immediate past governors, technocrats and former political appointees, the announcement of the 21 Ministerial nominees appeared to have increased the controversies as the polity was suffused with claims, counter-claims and controversies over the necessity or otherwise of the delay. Conceivably, the reactions about the list vary from people to people and also in accordance with their political interest and belief.[1]

Against this background, NOIPolls conducted a recent survey to ascertain the awareness of Nigerians on the recently released Ministerial list and also measure their awareness and perception on all 21 nominees, as well as possible recommendation for subsequent Ministerial list.

Survey Findings

The awareness of the recently released Ministerial list was measured and findings revealed that most Nigerians (80 percent) are aware of the release of the list. This news would not have gone unnoticed, considering the fact that there was a wait for about 4 months for this exercise.

Respondents who showed awareness of the Ministerial list (80 percent of the total) were further asked what names on the list appealed to them the most. Respondents were allowed to list as many names on the list that appealed to them as possible. Responses placed Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN (44 percent), who was the former Lagos State Governor from May 29, 2007 to May 29, 2015, as the nominee most appealing to Nigerians. This is followed by Rotimi Amaechi (31 percent), who served as the 5th Governor of Rivers State from 2007 to 2015.

Other top names on the list that appealed to Nigerians include Aisha Alhassan (25 percent), a past Senator; Chris Ngige (25 percent), a former governor of Anambra State; Audu Ogbeh a past chairman of the People’s Democratic Party from 2001 until January 2005 (22 percent); and Abdulrahaman Danbazzau (21 percent), a retired Nigerian Army Lieutenant General.

While all 21 names of nominees were mentioned, some names were least mentioned and these include Hadi Sirika, a former pilot and Senator (14 percent) and Ibrahim Usman Jubrin a former Military Governor (14 percent). In addition, a considerable proportion of respondents (23 percent) reported that no name on the list appeals to them.

In the same manner, respondents were asked what names on the Ministerial list did not appeal to them and findings revealed that majority (68 percent) of the respondents did not mention any name that did not appeal to them. This therefore implies that most Nigerians endorse the Ministerial list, although 20 percent of the respondents indicated Rotimi Ameachi’s as a name that did not appeal to them on the list. This is followed by Babatunde Raji Fashola (9 percent), Chris Nigige (9 percent) and Audu Ogbeh (8 percent) amongst others.

The poll also measured the ‘Familiarity’ and ‘Favourability’ of the Ministerial nominees. Familiarity of nominees assessed the general public awareness of the nominees. Similarly, favourability measured the overall the perception of the respondents towards the nominees, through positive and negative opinions of the respondents towards the nominees. The perception of the respondents towards the nominees is presented as Net Favourability of the nominees; derived by positive opinions minus negative opinions.

Findings are presented in a 4 X 4 matrix which shows the familiarity alongside the net favourability of each Ministerial nominee as shown in the figure below.

The four quadrants are interpreted as follows:

The top right quadrant implies a high familiarity and positive net favourability. Nominees that fall in this quadrant are well known and well liked.
The top left quadrant implies low familiarity and positive favourability. Nominees in this quadrant have a positive net favourability but are not well known. They are only known by a few people but those few have very high opinions of them.
The bottom left quadrant implies low familiarity and negative favourability. Nominees that fall in this quadrant are not well known and also have a negative public image.
The bottom right quadrant implies high familiarity and negative net favourability. Nominees that fall in this category are well known, however they have a negative public image.

Based on the interpretation of the matrix, findings revealed that all the nominees have positive favourability, thus indicating positive public opinion given the fact that no name appeared in the bottom left quadrant. The matrix also reveals a clustering of nominees in the top left quadrant indicating that these Nominees have a positive net favourability but are not well known. Thus they have relatively the same level of favourability and familiarity with minimal differences. Nominees in this category include Abubakar Malami (SAN), Kemi Adeosun and Ahmed Ibeto amongst others.

Some names of nominees stood out in the top right quadrant indicating a high level of familiarity as well as favourability. For instance, Babatunde Raji Fashola which appears at the top right of the matrix is an indication that among all the nominees he has the highest familiarity (90 percent) as well as net favourability (+61). Similarly, while Rotimi Ameachi has a higher familiarity (89 percent) compared with Chris Ngige and Kayode Fayemi, they both have a higher favourability compared with Rotimi Amaechi as seen in the table below. A striking similarity amongst nominees in the top right quadrant who have the highest familiarity and favourability is that these are past executives.

Finally on this poll, respondents were asked what names they would like to see for possible recommendation in the subsequent Ministerial list. Findings revealed that on the one hand, about half (52 percent) of the respondents who showed awareness of the recently released Ministerial list, are just satisfied with the names on the list such that they have no recommendation for subsequent Ministerial list.

On the other hand, some respondents (6 percent) indicated Prof Pat Utomi a professor at Lagos Business School, as a possible recommendation for subsequent Ministerial list. This is followed by Femi Falana (SAN) a human rights activist and lawyer in Nigeria (4 percent), Charles Soludo a former Governor of the Central Bank (3 percent), Rabiu Kwankwaso a former Governor of Kano state (3 percent) and Oby Ezekwesili (2 percent). See Table after conclusion for other names mentioned in the survey.

Still on governance, NOIPolls conducted the fourth approval rating for President Muhammadu Buhari’s job performance and the ninth in the 2015 monthly series of governance polls, to gauge the opinions and perceptions of Nigerians regarding the approval rating of the President. Findings revealed that a larger proportion of Nigerians (78 percent) approved of the President’s job performance over the past one month. On the other hand, 11 percent of the respondents disapproved of the President Buhari’s job performance, while another 11 percent of Nigerians neither approved nor disapproved of the President’s job performance over the past one month.

Further evaluation of the President’s performance by geo-political zone revealed that the North-East zone (94 percent: 65 percent + 29 percent) and the North-West zone (90 percent: 57 percent + 33 percent) accounted for the larger proportion of Nigerians who approved of President Buhari’s job performance, hence impacting the overall increase of the President’s rating in September 2015. Conversely, the South-East zone (29 percent: 25 percent + 4 percent) and the South-South zone (22 percent: 18 percent + 4 percent) accounted for the largest ratio of respondents who disapproved of the President’s job performance.

Subsequently, respondents were asked to state the reasons for approving or disapproving the President’s performance. The result revealed that ‘Improved security’ (21 percent) topped the lists of reasons for approving the President’s job performance in September 2015. Other reasons on the list includes ‘improved power supply’ (19 percent) and ‘campaign against corruption’ (11 percent) amongst other reasons given by Nigerians. Conversely, Nigerians who disapproved the President’s job performance specifying that ‘there ‘hasn’t been any feasible changes in governance’ (65 percent) and ‘delay in appointing ministers’ (16 percent) among others reasons.

Conclusion

Following the recent release of the Ministerial list, Nigerians (68 percent) have shown some support for the nominees; with Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN (44 percent), a former Lagos State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi (31 percent), former state Governor of Rivers State. Aisha Alhassan a former Senator representing Taraba North constituency of Taraba State, and Chris Ngige former state governor of Anambra State (25 percent) topping the list as names most appealing to Nigerians. As Nigerians await the release of the second list some respondents indicated Prof Pat Utomi (6 percent), Femi Falana (SAN) (4 percent), Charles Soludo (3 percent), Rabiu Kwankwaso (3 percent) and Oby Ezekwesili (2 percent) as possible recommendations for subsequent Ministerial list. Finally, while Nigerians endorse the Ministerial nominees, the fate of these nominees will be determined by the final outcome of the screening process by the senate, commencing on the same date as this release (Tuesday 13th October 2015).

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