The newly introduced Stears Approval Rating (SAR) reveals that despite multiple policy changes, President Bola Tinubu’s policies have received twice as many approvals from respondents compared to those of the previous administration.
Stears conducted a statistically significant, state-wide poll to understand public sentiment in the wake of a storm of policy reforms implemented by the current administration. The inaugural Stears Approval Rating sampled 519 respondents across Lagos’ 20 local government areas.
The SAR is built from responses to 25 questions about socioeconomic policies, living conditions, institutional trust and voter status. Interviews were conducted in English, Pidgin English, and Yoruba, and lasted an average of 10 minutes.
“After Stears’ proprietary estimation model correctly predicted the outcome of the 2023 presidential elections, we wanted to continue to build on the application of data in governance and beyond. Particularly, we’re excited about how the SAR captures subtle fluctuations in consumer sentiment,” explains Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Economist at Stears.
Senior Governance Analyst, Joachim MacEbong, expressed the importance of paying attention to the survey results. He stated, “The Stears survey offers a valuable glimpse into the concerns of Nigerians, and it is clear that urgent action is needed to ease the cost burdens on citizens. Our poll showed that 42% of Lagosians are pessimistic while 32% said they were optimistic about the country’s direction.”
President Tinubu wins over Buhari’s disaffected.
When asked what they think of the social and economic policies of both the current administration and the past Buhari administration, only 12% approve of the previous administration’s policies, while 50% disapprove. For the current administration, 27% approve, with 33% disapproval. The 50% disapproval of the previous administration’s policies indicates its policy missteps.
Petrol subsidy removal
The removal of the petrol subsidy, which saw Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) go from ₦185/litre to ₦490/litre in Lagos overnight, is less popular. 58% disapprove, with only 32% approving of the decision. Stears completed data collection before the increase from ₦490/litre to ₦568/litre.
The foundation of three Indices
Based on the data collected for the Stears Approval Rating, Stears built three indices; The Approval Rating Index spotlights the public’s approval of implemented and potential future policies, Stears Confidence Score gauges trust in institutions, which is essential for mobilising citizens, and finally,, the Consumer Expectations Index is used to track how optimistic consumers are about the future, indicative of their future spending.
71% of respondents believe they will live better in a year.
Stears used responses to questions about future expectations and Nigeria’s direction to construct the Consumer Expectations Index. Most (59%) feel worse off than they did a year ago. The silver lining is that 71% of respondents think they will be doing better in a year.
We used a normalised scale of 0 (low expectations) to 100 (high expectations), and the Consumer Expectations Index score was 63. This index is designed to inform decision-makers about how optimistic consumers feel about the future.
“What we’ve done in Lagos lays the groundwork for more comprehensive indices that we plan to build from our data collection efforts in Africa soon. We continue to demonstrate how business leaders and policymakers alike can use data to understand what comes next before it happens,” said Yvette Dimiri, Director of Stears Insights.
The Stears Policy Approval team is multidisciplinary, with leadership from Joachim MacEbong and Tokunbo Afikuyomi. The team combines technical expertise across economics and governance alongside gold-standard data collection, analysis and visualisation.