Severe Traffic Gridlock and Heightened Crime Rate Pose Major Source of Concern for Lagosians

Abuja, Nigeria. October 27th, 2015 – A recent collaborative poll between BusinessDay Media and NOIPolls Limited has revealed that severe traffic gridlock and heightened crime rate have now become the major sources of concern to the residents of Nigeria's commercial city of Lagos, since Governor Akinwunmi Ambode assumed office in May 2015. Specifically, Lagosians have identified these issues to include the Severe traffic gridlock across the metropolis (26 percent), Bad Roads (22 percent), Poor Power Supply (14 percent), and Heightened insecurity (8 percent), with an upsurge in the activities of armed robbers, area boys, touts, pick-pockets and petty criminals; as issues affecting their daily lives and raising serious concerns. Consequently, some Lagosians who participated in the poll identified the following areas for the Governor to focus his attention over the next six months: Improving road networks (36 percent), Creating job opportunities (12 percent), Improving power supply (12 percent), Improving traffic control & management (10 percent), and Improving state security (eradicating touts & area boys) (8 percent) amongst others.

An evaluation of the performance of Governor Ambode revealed that a larger proportion of almost 4 in 10 Lagosians (38 percent) were indifferent about his performance owning to the issues identified above. On the other hand, 36 percent of the respondents expressed their satisfaction over his performance, while 26 percent expressed outright dissatisfaction. Furthermore, 6 in 10 Lagosians rated the Governor ‘poorly’ in terms of ‘Road infrastructure’ (60 percent), with further poor ratings in ‘Economic situation’ (58 percent), ‘Traffic management’ (54 percent), ‘Education’ (42 percent) and the ‘security of lives and properties’ (41 percent). 

Finally, it is worth noting that while almost 4 in 10 Lagosians are currently indifferent about the governor's performance, this perception could swing in or against his favour, depending on how well Governor Ambode moves to manage the state and address these critical issues; particularly the severe traffic gridlock across the metropolis and the heightened crime rate, which has witnessed the re-emergence of area boys, armed robbers, petty criminals & traffic lawlessness. These were some key findings from the Lagos State Governance poll conducted in the week of 19th October 2015.

Brief Background

Lagos is a state in the south western part of Nigeria. It endures all the turbulence of a 21st century metropolitan city ranging from alarming bank robbery incidents, recent collapse of residential buildings, traffic holdups, petrol tanker fire explosions, increase of robbery instances in traffic congestion as well as reports of the creeping return of area boys and other sundry hoodlums to Oshodi and other parts of the state, poorly maintained roads and environmental issues among others. Because its major sea ports, plays host to numerous industries and financial institutions, it is currently the economic stronghold of Nigeria. The population of Lagos state is about 21.9 million with a growth rate of 3.2 percent, therefore, the population of the state has been recorded to be growing at a massive 600,000 per year with a population density of 4, 913 persons per square kilometer.[1] Nonetheless, Lagos is experiencing rapid urbanization and needs urgent attention; especially in the task of providing befitting infrastructure for its rising population.  

October 27th 2015 marked the first 152 days of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in office. He had mentioned his desire to run a transparent and an all-inclusive government at his inaugural speech and that his style of governance would be different from what was observed in the past.[2] Lagos state residents are expecting a clear strategic imperative to meet the socio-economic challenges associated with a mega metropolis from Governor Ambode. It is clear that former governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has set a standard through his accomplishments in the state; therefore, the minimum expected from Ambode is to meet those standards if not improve them.[3]

In measuring government’s performance, the public always considers the role of service ministries as very vital. Ambode has just inaugurated his 37 cabinet members to man such ministries, and they bear the responsibility of developing plans and strategies to make Lagos state internationally competitive and conducive for its dwellers and viable for legitimate businesses.[4] Against this background, NOIPolls on behalf of BusinessDay Media conducted a Lagos state governance poll to gauge the opinion and perception of Lagos state residents on the performance of the governor, as well their expectations from his administration in the next 6 months.

Survey Findings

Respondents to the poll were asked four specific questions. To assess the perception of Lagos residents on the overall performance of Governor Ambode, respondents were asked: How satisfied are you with the performance of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode since his inauguration as Governor of Lagos state in May 2015? Findings revealed that a higher proportion (38 percent) of Lagos residents have remained indifferent about the performance of Governor Ambode as they are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with his performances so far. Nonetheless, 36 percent of Lagos state residents have disclosed their satisfaction over the performance of Governor Ambode, whereas 26 percent expressed their dissatisfaction over his performance so far.

Further analysis on the senatorial districts indicates that residents from Lagos-East accounted for the largest proportion of respondents who are satisfied (39 percent) and those who registered as neutral (39 percent) about his performance so far. It’s worthy to note that the governor hails from the senatorial district of Epe LGA, and this may have influenced their perception of the governor’s performance. On the other hand, residents from Lagos-Central have the highest number of respondents who indicated they were not satisfied with the Governor’s performance so far.

Secondly, respondents were asked: On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is very poor and 5 is very good, how would you rate the performance of Governor Ambode in terms of the following? Apart from his general performance, the larger proportion of Lagos state residents asserted that Governor Ambode has performed ‘poorly’ in terms of ‘road infrastructure’ (60 percent), ‘economic situation’ (58 percent), ‘traffic management’ (54 percent), ‘education’ (42 percent) and the ‘security of lives and properties’ (41 percent).  Notwithstanding, the slight majority (36 percent) think that the Governor has performed well in terms of ‘environmental sanitation’.

Furthermore, according to responses from this question Governor Ambode performed poorly in terms of education as rated by majority of Lagos state residents, despite his commitment towards addressing the issue of quality of education in the state. It could be recalled that the Governor has approved the recruitment of no fewer than 1,300 teachers into all public primary schools across the state, payment of the annual bursary awards for students in higher institution of learning across the country and the payment of local scholarship and subsequent payments to students studying in various tertiary institutions across the country.[5]

 

Subsequently, to establish the individual challenges that directly affect an individual in Lagos state, respondents were asked: In your opinion, what is the greatest issue that directly affects you as a resident of Lagos state recently? A larger proportion (26 percent) of Lagos state residents interviewed have lamented over the ‘worsening traffic gridlock’ in the city as one of the main issues that directly affect them and most of the respondents in this category are residents of Lagos-Central senatorial district (36 percent). Other issues on the list that directly affect the residents are ‘bad roads’ (22 percent), ‘poor power supply’ (14 percent) and ‘increased insecurity’ (8 percent) amongst other issues.

Finally, to explore the expectation of Lagos state residents in the next 6 months, respondents were asked: Which areas would you want Governor Ambode to focus on in the next 6 months? The survey revealed that majority of Lagos state residents want the Governor to focus his attention on ‘improving road networks’ (36 percent) within the next 6 months. This is no surprise as a majority of roads in Lagos state are in poor conditions, thus leading to traffic congestion, delay in travel time, vehicular wear and tear, and accidents which also contributes to delays in the movement of goods and people across the state. Lack of adequate road infrastructure could also be a disincentive to both local and foreign investors in Lagos state. Also, constraints to productivity at the city level as a result of poor road network could reduce the productivity of firms and households thereby affecting the aggregate productivity of the economy.[6]

Other areas in which the residents of Lagos state expect the Governor to focus on in the next 6 month include ‘Creation of job opportunities’ (12 percent), ‘improving power supply’ (12 percent) and ‘improving traffic control & management ’ (10 percent) amongst other areas.

In conclusion, only 36 percent of Lagos state residents expressed their satisfaction over the performance of Governor Ambode, although a larger proportion (38 percent) of the residents remained neutral on the assessment of his performance in various areas. More findings revealed that Governor Ambode was rated ‘poorly’ in terms of ‘road infrastructure’ (60 percent); moreover residents of Lagos state indicated ‘worsening traffic gridlock’ in the city as one of the main issues that directly affected them. Furthermore, a larger proportion (36 percent) of Lagos residents have emphasised they want Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to focus his attention on ‘Improving road networks’ within the next 6 months among other prime areas.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in week of 19th October 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%.

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. 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.

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[1] http://www.lagosstate.gov.ng/pagelinks.php?p=6

[2] http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/2015/09/governor-akinwumi-ambodes-100-days-in-office/

[3] http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/02/babatunde-raji-fashola-success-tackling-challenges-head-2/

[4] http://www.punchng.com/politics/ambode-swears-in-commissioners-sas-demands-optimum-performance/

[5] http://thenationonlineng.net/ambodes-100-days-the-shape-of-things-to-come/

[6] https://globaljournals.org/GJHSS_Volume11/2-Economic-Valuation-of-Poor-Road-Infrastructure-Lagos.pdf