top of page

President’s approval ratings on the decline in January 2013

Abuja, Nigeria. February 5, 2013 – Latest weekly poll results released by NOI Polls Limited show that 52% of Nigerians say the current administration has performed averagely while 50% (down from 65%) of Nigerians approve of the President’s performance in the month of January. These were two key findings from the governance polls conducted in the week of January 29th 2013.

These results represent the first in the new monthly series of governance polls to be conducted by NOI Polls to gauge the opinions and perceptions of Nigerians regarding three key elements – the approval rating of the president, the performance of the current administration, and the state of power supply in the country.

Respondents to the poll were asked three specific questions. The first question sought to gauge the approval rating of President Goodluck Jonathan over the past 1 month: Do you approve or disapprove of the performance of the president in the past 1 month? From the results, the majority (42%) stated that they approve of the President’s performance, followed by 27% who said they disapprove. Also, 20% of the respondents polled were neutral saying they neither approved nor disapproved, while 8% said they strongly approve, and 3% said they strongly disapproved. In general, despite the continued decline, about 50% of Nigerians (42% + 8%) approve the president’s performance in January.

However, when these current figures are compared with results of a similar poll conducted in May 2012 (published in the Democracy Day Special newsletter), it shows a 15-point drop in the approval rating of President Goodluck Jonathan (from a total of 65% in May 2012 to 50% at present). Also, the proportion of Nigerians that disapprove of his performance has risen by 6-points from a total of 24% to 30%. These results clearly indicate that even though the majority of respondents (50%) currently approve of the President’s performance, his approval ratings remain on a decline. In 2010, when he assumed office, the results of the NOI-Gallup National Poll in October revealed that almost 8 in 10 Nigerians (79%) approved of the President. All three polls indicate a continuing decline in the president’s approval rating, from a total of 79% in October 2010 to 65% in May 2012, and now 50% in January 2013. However, to put these approval ratings in perspective, we took a look at the approval ratings polled by our partner Gallup USA for Obama;  the US president averaged at 49% approval in his first term and had a 52% approval rating as at Feb 2nd 2013.

Moving forward, the second question sought to gauge the opinions of Nigerians regarding the performance of the entire administration – the ministers at the federal level, and the governors and their respective cabinets at the state levels, down to local government administrators. Respondents were asked: How would you rate the performance of the current administration in the last month? In response, the majority (52%) said the administration has “performed averagely”, followed by 20% who are of the opinion that “they have performed very well”. In addition, 17% said “they have performed poorly”, while 8% said “they have performed very poorly” and 2% said “they have performed very well.

A comparison with results from polls conducted in May and October 2012 indicate a 14-point increase in the proportion of Nigerians that think the current administration has performed well (from a total of 8% in October 2012 to 22% at present). However, the current rating still remains 19-points below the performance rating of the administration in May 2012 (a total of 41%).  A trend observed from the polls is that while the approval rating of the president appears to be on a decline, the performance rating of the current administration seems to be on the increase. This may suggest that respondents tend to view the job of the president differently from how they view the performance of the current administration, particularly in states with governors who are perceived to be performing.

The comparative results further show that there has been a 6-point increase in the proportion of respondents that think the administration has “performed averagely” (from 46% in October 2012 to 52% at present). There has also been a 17-point decline in the percentage of Nigerians that think the current administration has performed poorly (from a total of 42% in October 2012 to 25% at present).

Finally, given the mixed reactions that have trailed President Goodluck Jonathan’s interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, the third question sought to investigate the assertion of the President that “Nigerians are quite pleased with the improvement in power”. On this, respondents were asked: How would you describe power supply in your area where you live in the last 1 month? The majority (38%) of respondents stated that power supply “has improved a little”, 9% of the respondents said power supply “has improved very much”, followed by 23% who said “there’s no difference at all”. Also, 17% said that power supply “remains bad”, while 13% said “it’s very bad and has gone worse”. In general, a total of 47% (38% + 9%) are of the opinion that power has improved, thus providing some support to the President’s assertion. However, a 53% majority think that they have either experienced no difference in their power supply or that it remains bad and has gone worse.

Looking across the geo-political zones, there are a few differences highlighted by the results. The North-East zone has the highest proportion of residents (39%) who said “there’s no difference at all” in their power supply; while the South-East, South-South, North-West and South-West zones have the highest proportion of residents (17%) that said power supply “has improved a little”. It is interesting to note that only 30% of respondents in the North-Central zone, where the seat of power is located, said that power supply has improved a little.

In conclusion, the poll results show that the majority of Nigerians currently approve of the job performance of President Goodluck Jonathan even though his approval rating has dropped by 15% from last year. Also, more Nigerians think the current administration is doing an average to good job in terms of its current performance and also there has been an improvement in this performance compared to last year. Finally, most Nigerians irrespective of geo political zone agree that power supply in their areas have improved a little.

However with a declining approval rate, the president would need to address the areas of governance that are of key concern to Nigerians. As highlighted by our New Year poll; majority of Nigerians (24%) are of the opinion that the most important issue the President needs to address is the issue of unemployment, followed by improving electricity supply (18%), tackling insecurity (17%) and eradicating corruption (10%).

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted between January 29th and 30th 2013. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 526 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 4%. NOI Polls Limited is Nigeria’s leading opinion polling and research organisation, which works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA), to conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at


This press release has been produced by NOI Polls Limited 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 NOI Polls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published.

NOI Polls 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 NOI Polls 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 NOI Polls’ current findings and/or thinking.

Press Contact

The Editor



bottom of page