A major challenge to effective productivity for governments and organisations in Nigeria is how to adequately capture and interpret data. Creating good strategy is premised on the ability to understand the current state of affairs, its nuances, and changes over time in order to implement an approach that best fulfils the desired objective.
The country lacked credible data from authentic and rigorous data gathering tools. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a globally renowned economist and two-term Nigerian finance minister who served as the vice president of World Bank, founded NOI Polls Limited in response to this vacuum. Established 12 years ago as West Africa’s first country-specific opinion survey firm, it has built its methodology in technical partnership with The Gallup Poll (USA).
Over the past twelve years, NOI polls have produced independent research, provided strategic consulting, analytics and data banking services that have helped corporations, policymakers, government agencies, international donors, CSOs, and private enterprises to understand the opinions of Nigerians. This has focused on issues of governance, market trends, management of the economy, provision of social and health services, as well as the performance of government and private sector institutions. Comprising a team of over 500 researchers including enumerators, field supervisors, field managers, research analysts, associates, and managers, NOI has published some of the most groundbreaking research in Nigeria.
In the run-up to the 2019 elections, NOI Polls has been instrumental in assessing the impact of voter education being carried out by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as well as the preparedness of INEC and the electorates towards the 2019 elections. Election polls attract a great deal of attention for their ability to predict the outcome of elections, however, their most critical function is to help journalists and citizens understand the meaning of the campaigns and the electoral process. Polls help to explain, among other things, what issues are important, how candidate qualities may affect voters’ decisions, and how much support there is for particular policy changes.
NOIPolls also published its monthly approval ratings assessing President Buhari’s 3rd year in the office across a 3-year period (June 2015 to May 2018). The results revealed that over the tenure, the President’s performance rating had taken a downward plunge, plummeting from his highest rating of 80% recorded in October 2015, to 37% recorded in August 2016 and more recently 39% in April 2018. It also helped predict the results of the Ekiti State gubernatorial elections, as well as assessing the major factors that premised voters in their choice of candidates.
The most recent elections related poll conducted in September 2018 assessed the collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC). It revealed a low rate of the collection as that almost 7 in 10 Nigerians (68
Outside the elections, surveys on social issues such as rising
NOIPolls also partnered to develop the manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), the first in Nigeria used in developed markets and larger emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil. Based upon manufacturers’ responses to set questions on core variables in their businesses, it indicated that structural issues continue to stifle the growth and expansion of Nigerian manufacturing firms which limit manufacturers’ ability to produce standard products profitably.
Power supply tracking has helped power companies understand perceptions of their deliveries in order to improve consumer relations.These have provided estimates of the electricity demand within specified clusters, estimates of off-takers’ willingness to pay for improved electricity services, and assess the demand for electricity within the specified clusters. The presentation of findings in easy to understand info-graphics allows all citizens to comprehend the status of the sectors.
Base and end line surveys in agriculture and food security have also been undertaken to provide socio-economic baseline data at the level of smallholder farmers along pre-identified Green Innovation Centers. A baseline survey was also carried out to assess the City Infrastructure Quality Index, which will serve as an indicator for measuring improvements in the quality of infrastructure in Nigeria over time. This will provide insight of the economic health of the selected cities and measure access to urban transport and solid waste management services.
The wide scope of topics covered illustrates how NOIPolls is making progress in achieving its mission of giving Nigerians a voice on the issues that impact their lives as well as supporting businesses. Surveys on citizen’s perception in particular have provided timely and relevant information on public attitudes and opinions on various social and economic issues. These have given a voice to ordinary citizens to aid decision makers in the public and private sectors for better performance and improved governance.
With an expansion plan to cover West Africa over the next five years using the latest methodologies for data collection, NOI aims to magnify the significance of public opinion research across the continent.