Public trust is an essential lubricant for the workings of any political system
Public Trust in Government has consequences for development and the effective implementation of policies in countries. This means that the more citizens trust those holding public office, the more likely those countries or regions are to experience economic growth and quality delivery of services. Nigeria confronts the Coronavirus at a time where trust in federal authorities and public institutions is abysmally low. A 2016 survey by Afrobarometer showed that the level of trust of Nigerians in executive /state institutions was less than 40%
In a survey, we conducted between April 6 and April 30, 2020, ResearcherNG measured perception towards the NCDC by asking respondents “How confident are you in the response of the NCDC and other Public Health Officials to the coronavirus outbreak?” 53.2% of our respondents said they were “somewhat confident” in the response of the NCDC and other public health officials while 23.7% were “Not Confident”. 22.9% of our respondents were very confident in the response of the NCDC. We also asked our respondents “How confident are you in the response of the Nigerian Government to the coronavirus outbreak?” 65.9% were “Not Confident”, 25.6% were “Somewhat Confident” and 8.45 were “Very Confident”.
Our analysis shows that Nigerians trust the National Center for Disease Control and other health bodies more than they trust the rest of government and its agencies in their response to the CoronaVirus outbreak in the country. This reflects on the general level of trust Nigeria has had towards government in recent time.
Where Do they Get their News From?
38.5% of people who are very confident in the NCDC get their news from social media, 48.8% for the somewhat confident, and 56.8% for those who do not have any confidence in the NCDC. 52.5% of respondents who said they were “Not Confident” in government get their information about Covid19 from social media while the “Very Confident” 37.3%. 38.5% of those who are very confident in government get their information from official sources. Those who do not trust the government are more likely to get their information from social media. While confidence levels in the government itself vs NCDC and health institutions are differing, it appears respondents lean towards a similar source of information – social media.
ResearcherNG conducted this study to understand the trust level of Nigerians in public health institutions and the federal government approach towards curbing the CoronaVirus pandemic. We surveyed 1,121 Nigerian adults in April 2020 for this report. The surveys were mostly conducted via online channels and weighted to match Nigeria’s adult population by.age, gender and location. We also held in-depth interviews and focus group meetings to validate responses. It will be instructive to note that in sampling errors, question wordings and the peculiarities of conducting surveys such as this can introduce bias to some aspects of this poll. However, we took accurate measures to ensure the error is at its barest.