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NOI-Polls: 72 Percent Of Nigerians Support Proposed Merger Of MDAs: EFCC and ICPC Highlighted Top Priority
72 Percent Of Nigerians Support Proposed Merger Of MDAs: EFCC and ICPC Highlighted Top Priority

Abuja, Nigeria. August 25th, 2015 – A recent poll result from a polling partnership between BusinessDay Media and NOIPolls Limited has revealed that the President’s proposal to merge some ministries and parastatals has been received with support from most Nigerians. Majority of Nigerians (72 percent) support the proposed merger of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government, with the merging of EFCC and ICPC highlighted as top priority.

Further findings indicates that most Nigerians (65 percent) are well informed of the President’s decision to appoint his ministers in September 2015, which was made public after the publication by the Washington Post in July 2015 of the President’s article titled “Nigeria Committed to Good Governance and Fighting Terror”.[1] This decision stirred varying opinions from Nigerians.

On the one hand, most Nigerians (87 percent) consider September 2015 as a good time for the President to appoint his ministers citing  ‘he needs time to select the best persons’ (31 percent), ‘for better governance’ (13 percent), amongst other reasons. On the other hand, some Nigerians (13 percent) viewed the President’s decision as a delay, while reporting that the appointment of the ministers is ‘long overdue’ (61 percent), and has resulted in ‘delay in the execution of programmes ’ (14 percent) as well ‘economic stagnation’ (12 percent).

Finally, more than half (58 percent) of Nigerians surveyed showed awareness of the proposed merging of some ministries and parastatals by the President; following the recommendation of the transition committee to reduce the number of ministries from its present number 42 to 19, with the aim of reducing the cost of governance as well as making these agencies more effective and responsive to the needs of Nigerians.[2] These are the key findings from the Governance pollconducted in the week of 10th August 2015.

Brief Background

Since the emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s newly elected President, the appointment of his cabinet members has been a subject of debate across the country. With high expectations from Nigerians given the electoral promises made by the present ruling party, there is no doubt that the citizens expect a very big shuffle in the President’s cabinet; due to the perceived questionable decisions of the past administrations. Although several media reports revealed that some citizens have expressed great concern over the delay in the release of ministerial appointments, the President has however stated he would appoint his ministers in September 2015, while clarifying that the delay is very essential for strategic selection in order to make the right appointments.[3]

Still in line with governance, the President proposed to reduce the number of ministries from 42 to 19, mainly through merging some ministries and parastatals; especially those that are not backed by law with the view of saving public spending operating such organisations. This proposal has been received with varying opinions as some Nigerians see it as a good step to reduce the cost of governance, while others are of the opinion that it might lead to tremendous loss of jobs, thereby contradicting the aimof employment creation the ruling party sold to the electorates during its campaign.[4] 

Against this background, NOIPolls Limited on behalf of BusinessDay Media conducted a governance poll to measure the awareness of Nigerians on the planned ministerial appointments by September 2015 and their perception on the proposed merger of some ministries and parastatals in Nigeria.

Survey Findings

Respondents to the poll were asked six specific questions. Firstly, to gauge the awareness of Nigerians on the proposed appointment of ministers by the President in September 2015, respondents were asked: Are you aware that the President is planning to appoint his ministers in September 2015? The outcome revealed that a larger proportion of Nigerians (65 percent) are well informed of the President’s decision to appoint his ministers in September 2015. The President gave this hint in an article he wrote called “Nigeria Committed to Good Governance and Fighting Terror”, published by the Washington Post, Monday, July 20, 2015,.[5] On the other hand, 35 percent of the respondents showed no awareness of this information. 

Analysis by geo-political zone revealed that the South-East zone accounted for the largest proportion of respondents who showed awareness of the President’s decision to appoint his ministers in September 2015. In addition, more male (75 percent) than female (54 percent) respondents showed awareness, while respondents aged 61 years and above accounted for the largest proportion of Nigerians who showed awareness of the subject matter.

Subsequently, respondents were asked: In your opinion, do you think that September is a good time for him to appoint his ministers? Majority of Nigerians (87 percent) surveyed believe September 2015 is a good time for the President to appoint his ministers. Besides, the President stated that it was important for him to take his time to select the right persons to work with him and this would enable him set rules of conduct for good governance. He also admitted that it would have been irrational and bad governance if he had appointed ministers immediately after he was sworn in.[6]  On the contrary, 13 percent of the respondents are of the view that September 2015 is not a good time for him to appoint his ministers.

Further analysis by geo-political zone revealed that the North-West zone (90 percent) accounted for the largest proportion of respondents who indicated September 2015 as a good time whereas, the South-South zone (20 percent) accounted for the largest proportion of respondents who do not consider September a good time for ministerial appointment.

In order to determine the reasons for the responses in question 2 above, respondents were asked: Why do you think that September 2015 is not/is a good time for him to appoint his ministers?Findings revealed that Nigerians expressed various opinions over the decision of President Mohammadu Buhari to appoint his ministers in September 2015. Whilesome Nigerians who welcomed the decision of the President were mainly of the opinion that ‘he needs time to select the best persons’ (31 percent), and it would aid ‘better governance’ (13 percent), amongst other reasons.  Other Nigerians who were not in support of the President’s position (13 percent of the total) reported that the appointment of the ministers is ‘long overdue’ (61 percent), even as they believe it has led to ‘delay in the execution of programmes’ (14 percent) and ‘economic stagnation due to delay’ (12 percent) amongst other negative reasons.

Following the acceptance of the recommendation of the transition committee, the President proposed to merge some ministries and parastatals to reduce their current figure from 42 to 19; in order to reduce the cost of governance as well as make these organizations more effective and responsive to the needs of Nigerians. In line with this, the poll sought to gauge the awareness of Nigerians regarding the proposed merging of ministries and parastatals, respondents were asked: Are you aware that the President has proposed the merging of some ministries and parastatals as a measure to reduce the cost of governance? Findings revealed that almost 6 in 10 Nigerians (58 percent) interviewed showed awareness of the proposed merging of some ministries and parastatals, while 42 percent showed no awareness of the proposed merging of some government agencies. 

Analysis by gender revealed that more male (68 percent) than female (47 percent) respondents are aware of the proposed merging of some agencies. Also, the largest proportion (75 percent) of respondents who are mindful of the proposed merging of some agencies are aged 61 years and above.

Respondents were also asked: Are you in support of this proposed merging of some ministries and parastatals? The majority of Nigerians surveyed were mainly positive as 72 percent indicated support for the proposed merging of some ministries and parastatals. This position was mostly maintained by residents of the North-West zone (80 percent). However, 28 percent of Nigerians; mostly from the South-East zone and South-west zone (38 percent each) responded negatively saying they do not support the merging of some government agencies.

Finally, respondents who showed support for the merging of ministries and parastatals were further asked: In your opinion, which ministries or parastatals do you think should be merged together? In line with the merging of ministries and parastatals to 19 in order to ensure proper and effective coordination of duties and efficiency in service delivery, a larger proportion of Nigerians surveyed (16 percent) suggests that the ‘Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’ should be merged with the ‘Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC)’.

Other suggestions from Nigerians include the merging of ‘Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’ with the ‘Ministry of Water Resources’ (8 percent), the ‘Police Service Commission’ with ‘Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)’ (7 percent), as well as the ‘Ministry of Aviation’ with the ‘Ministry of Transport’ (7 percent) amongst other suggestions.

In conclusion, the poll has revealed that most Nigerians (65 percent) are aware and in support (87 percent) of the President’s decision to appoint his ministers in September 2015; mainly as they believe ‘the President needs time to select the best persons’ (31 percent) to serve in this capacity; which in turn would aid good governance. Although some Nigerians (13 percent) showed no support for the appointment of ministers in September as they believe this exercise is ‘long overdue’ (61 percent), and has caused ‘delay in the execution of programmes’ (14 percent) among other reasons.

Similarly, more than half of the Nigerian adult population (58 percent) are aware of the President’s proposition to merge some ministries and parastatals to reduce their current figure from 42 to 19; and a higher proportion of Nigerians in this category (72 percent) confirmed their support for the proposed merging of some ministries and parastatals. In line with this, a larger proportion (16 percent) of them suggesting that the ‘Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC)’ should be merged together.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week of 10th August 2015. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,500 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country were interviewed. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 2.5%.

About NOIPolls

NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa. We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com

About BusinessDay Media

BusinessDay, established in 2001, is a daily business newspaper based in Lagos, Nigeria. It is the only Nigerian newspaper with a bureau in Accra, Ghana. BusinessDay Media Ltd is the leading medium for up-to-date news and insightful analysis of business, policy and the economy in Nigeria, a critical decision-making tool for investors and managers. It provides unbiased news and informed analysis on politics, governance, social and economic trends.

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited and authorised for release by BusinessDay Media on the NOIPolls media platform to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. BusinessDay, established in 2001, is a daily business newspaper based in Lagos, Nigeria. It is the only Nigerian newspaper with a bureau in Accra, Ghana. BusinessDay Media Ltd is the leading medium for up-to-date news and insightful analysis of business, policy and the economy in Nigeria, a critical decision-making tool for investors and managers. It provides unbiased news and informed analysis on politics, governance, social and economic trends.

Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published.

NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.

Press Contact

The Editor

Email: editor@noi-polls.com

[1] http://www.channelstv.com/2015/07/20/buhari-to-appoint-ministers-in-september/

[2] http://nigeriancurrent.com/uncategorized/buhari-to-merge-efcc-icpc-42-ministries-reduced-to-19

[3] http://www.punchng.com/news/buhari-may-not-name-ministers-until-sept/

[4] http://www.arabianjbmr.com/pdfs/KD_VOL_4_5/4.pdf

[5] http://www.channelstv.com/2015/07/20/buhari-to-appoint-ministers-in-september/

[6] http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/2015/07/why-i-will-not-appoint-ministers-until-september-buhari/