The nation’s economy has further nosedived under the President Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government, lower than at any other time since 1999, a recent report has revealed.
In a swift reaction, however, the presidency said that the performance of the economy cannot be measured by survey.
The report is the outcome of a survey conducted by the CLEEN Foundation, a Nigerian non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with the Afrobarometer Network, a pan- African network of survey researchers and analysts, and the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Ghana.
Presenting the report to newsmen yesterday, the vice-chairman of the CLEEN Foundation, Prof. Etannibi Alemika, disclosed that the current survey is the fifth in a series of surveys conducted from 1999 when the country regained her democracy.
The recent Afrobarometer survey in Nigeria says that a majority of the citizens (67 per cent) describe the present economic condition of the country as very bad and fairly bad. Only 8 per cent say the economy is neither good nor bad and 25 per cent say the economy is very good and fairly good.
“About 42 per cent of the citizens said their present personal living condition is very bad or fairly bad, 14 per cent say their present personal living condition is neither good nor bad and another 42 per cent also agree that their personal living condition is neither good nor bad.
“The survey also revealed that a majority of Nigerians rated the present government as having performed poorly in the general management of the economy as well as the management of specific economic indicators. 81 per cent of Nigerians assessed government’s performance in managing the economy as very bad and fairly bad; only 19 per cent assessed the government’s performance as very well and fairly well.
“85 per cent of Nigerians think the present government has performed very badly in improving the living standard of the poor while only 15 per cent think the government is doing very well in improving the living condition of the poor.”
The survey further revealed that the majority (85 per cent) think the present government has performed “very badly or fairly badly” in improving the living standards of the poor, while only 15 per cent think the government is doing “very well or fairly well” in improving the living standards of the poor.
According to Alemika, the Round 5 of the survey covered 35 African countries, measuring public perception and attitude to democracy and its alternative and evaluates the quality of governance and economic performance. He said the field work for the round was conducted from October 29 to November 30, 2012, during which 2,400 adult Nigerians were interviewed with a result margin of 95 per cent confidence level.
The survey which also focused on the citizens’ perception of the police revealed that a majority of Nigerians believe that it is very difficult to obtain help from the police. “Majority of the citizens think government has performed very badly in reducing crime and resolving violent conflict between communities.
However, the senior special assistant on public affairs to the president, Dr Doyin Okupe, averred that economic development of any country is not measured through survey.
Okupe said he would be constrained to react to a survey report by Afrobarometer (CLEEN Foundation) without verifiable and scientific survey. He added that he will only rely on credible organisations like the International Monetary Fund and Fitch Ratings.
He said: “Economy of any country is not measured through any survey. A country’s economy is measured by the gross domestic product (GDP), inflation rate, foreign exchange stability, unemployment, foreign reserves, among other indicators.”
However, the executive director of CLEEN Foundation, Kemi Okenyodo, said the purpose of Afrobarometer is to measure popular perspectives on the social, political, and economic environments in each country where it is implemented and across Africa.
She said the goal is to give the public a voice in policy making processes by providing high-quality public opinion data to policymakers, policy advocates and civil society organisations, academics, media, donors, investors and ordinary Africans.
On the methodology used for the survey, Okenyodo said “in the 2011-2013 survey, 2,400 respondents were interviewed by enumerators in their homes using personal face-to-face interviews and multi-stage sampling technique. To ensure adequate representation of adult Nigerian population, probability sampling procedure was used to neutralise any known form of bias that may affect the findings of the study”.