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AD275: Nigerians support elections and multiparty competition but mistrust electoral commission

Nigeria’s upcoming elections may be as momentous as they are mammoth: More than 20,000 candidates from 91 registered political parties will square off in presidential, gubernatorial, and parliamentary contests that observers hope will strengthen the country’s democracy and ensure economic development and peace (Gana, 2019; International Crisis Group, 2018). All eyes will be on the presidential race pitting incumbent Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). 


AD231: One in three Nigerians have considered emigration, most to find economic opportunity


Nigerians optimistic about economic outlook despite persistent poverty, inadequate services

Nigerians are optimistic about the country’s economic prospects, even if things are still far from rosy, a recent Afrobarometer survey indicates. An overwhelming majority of Nigerians believe the economy will be better in a year’s time, although a majority see current economic conditions as bad and the country as going in the wrong direction. 

More than one-third of Nigerians repeatedly went without basic life necessities during the previous year, and many say that obtaining public services was difficult, took “a long time,” and required the payment of a bribe.


AD207: Nigerians optimistic about economic outlook despite persistent poverty, inadequate services

After a 2016 recession blamed mainly on low oil revenues and unchecked corruption (Daily Post, 2017), Nigeria’s economy has been showing signs of improvement. Despite foreignexchange shortages, poor infrastructure, and likely political tensions ahead of the February 2019 general elections, economic projections have been positive, including expected gross domestic product (GDP) growth of about 2.6% in 2018 (Focus Economics, 2018).


WP180: Police-citizen interaction in Africa: An exploration of factors that influence victims’ reporting of crimes

While personal insecurity in Africa is typically associated with civil wars, crime is actually a far more common threat to the continent’s citizens. Rates of homicide, sexual assault, and property crime in Africa are often far higher than global averages. Despite such threats, many Africans do not report crimes to the police.


AD199: Nigerians worried about violent clashes, praise government efforts to address armed extremism

Over the past several years, Nigeria has been plagued by various forms of violence, most prominently those linked to violent extremism in the Northeast and communal conflicts between herders and farmers in the central and southern zones. Analysts have attributed the deterioration of security in Nigeria to a wide range of causes, including weak or exploitative governance systems (Africa Center for Strategic Studies, 2017), inequality and injustice, ethno-religious conflicts, porous borders, rural-urban drift, poverty, and unemployment (Abdu & Okoro, 2016).


WP179: Electricity provision and tax mobilization in Africa

In this paper, we provide evidence on how the provision of social infrastructure such as reliable electricity can be leveraged to increase taxation in developing countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). First, using comprehensive data from the latest round of the Afrobarometer survey, we estimate, via the instrumental variable approach, the effect of access and reliability of electricity on tax compliance attitudes of citizens in 36 SSA countries.


Economic conditions, access to public services, and government performance

  • Economic condition: Six in 10 citizens (60%) say the country’s economic situation is “bad” or “very bad.” But about the same proportion (57%) describe their personal living conditions as “fairly good” or “very good.”
  • Nigerians’ experience with poverty: About a third of Nigerians have experienced “moderate lived poverty” (27%) or “high lived poverty” (10%).

Majority of Nigerians say country going in ‘wrong direction’

Almost two-thirds of Nigerians say the country is “going in the wrong direction,” a recent Afrobarometer survey reveals. Though harsh, this assessment represents an improvement from 2015.

The government’s macroeconomic performance is less favourably rated than its performance in fighting corruption. Even so, an overwhelming majority of citizens are optimistic that the country has a brighter economic outlook.


More than one-third of Nigerians experienced moderate or high lived poverty in previous year, survey shows

More than one-third of Nigerians repeatedly went without basic life necessities during the previous year, placing them in the category of “moderate lived poverty” or “high lived poverty,” a recent Afrobarometer survey indicates.

Survey findings also show that among Nigerians who tried to access certain public services, large proportions say it was difficult, took “a long time,” and required the payment of a bribe to obtain certain services.


AD196: Who’s watching? Voters seen as key in holding elected officials accountable

In addition to the growing number of African states that conduct regular elections and embed democratic principles in their constitutions, evidence comes from survey-based research that most Africans support democratic values and reward governments that adhere to democratic rules (Mattes & Bratton, 2007; Bratton & Mattes, 2001). However, in many countries, citizen demand for democracy is not met by supply of democracy (Mattes & Bratton, 2016) as governments, once elected, fail to respect the norms of democratic governance (Gyimah-Boadi, 2015).


Nigerians split on whether women should be elected, study shows

Almost half of Nigerians say men make better leaders and should be elected rather than women, a recent Afrobarometer survey indicates. Only a slim majority say women should have the same chance as men of being elected. Support for the empowerment of women in political leadership is lowest in the North West zone, among uneducated Nigerians, and among men.


AD187: In Nigeria, perceived corruption remains high despite praise for president’s anti-graft fight

Since Muhammadu Buhari became president in May 2015, Nigerians have witnessed a series of investigations into alleged corruption by past and present government officials, including high-profile cases involving the former minister of petroleum and a former national security adviser (Al Jazeera, 2017; Vanguard, 2016; Oyibode, 2017).


Corruption, violent extremism, and clashes between herdsmen and farmers

Corruption in Nigeria: Public perceptions of the government’s fight against corruption have improved dramatically, but more than 90% of Nigerians still say “some,” “most,” or “all” public officials are corrupt.

Clashes between herdsmen and farmers: Seven in 10 citizens (71%) express concern about the incessant conflicts and killings between farmers and herdsmen in Nigeria.

Armed extremism in Nigeria: Three-fourths (74%) of Nigerians praise the government’s efforts to address the problem of armed extremists in the country.


Unemployment, poverty, and religious beliefs drive some Nigerians to join extremist groups, according to Afrobarometer survey

Nigerians say unemployment, poverty, and religious beliefs are the main reasons why some citizens join extremist groups, a recent Afrobarometer survey indicates.

The survey reveals that a majority of Nigerians believe international extremist groups are involved in supporting and assisting the extremist groups that have launched attacks and kidnappings in Nigeria.


Public perception of Nigerian government’s fight against corruption improves, study shows

Public perceptions of the government’s fight against corruption have improved dramatically since 2015, a recent Afrobarometer survey in Nigeria indicates.

More than 90% of Nigerians, however, still say “some,” “most,” or “all” public officials are corrupt, with the police perceived as the most corrupt, and most citizens fear retaliation if they report corruption to the authorities. Nigerians are evenly split as to whether corruption has increased or decreased over the past year.


One-third of Nigerians – most of them young and educated – have considered emigrating, study shows

One in three Nigerians – most of them young and educated – have considered emigrating, a recent Afrobarometer survey in Nigeria indicates.

Among these potential emigrants, about one in eight say they are actually taking steps to leave the country. Most potential emigrants say they want to find jobs and escape economic hardship. 

Released on International Migrants Day (18 December), these data speak to an international migration crisis that has seen thousands of would-be emigrants return home with stories of fear, torture, and even the selling of emigrants as slaves.


PP43: Tax compliance Africans affirm civic duty but lack trust in tax department

In any economy, balancing expenditures, revenues, and debts is a delicate and often politicized task. Competing interests and priorities buffet those tasked with planning a viable and stable national budget. For any state, taxes raised from individuals and businesses are a central plinth supporting the provision of services, the maintenance of infrastructure, the employment of civil servants, and the smooth functioning of the state. 


WP176: The autocratic trust bias: Politically sensitive survey items and self-censorship

Because of a perceived risk of repressive action, some survey questions are likely sensitive in more autocratic countries while less so in more democratic countries. Yet survey data on potentially sensitive topics are frequently used in comparative research despite concerns about comparability.


Geocoded data

Subnationally geocoded Afrobarometer data

Analyze the priorities, preferences, experiences, and opinions of more than 200,000 African citizens in 28,000 localities.

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WP172: 800 languages and counting: Lessons from survey research across a linguistically diverse continent

Using data on more than 800 home languages identified during Afrobarometer Round 5 (2011/2013) surveys in 35 countries, as well as information on multilingualism gathered in 20 countries in Round 4 (2008/2009), this paper explores linguistic diversity and multilingualism at the individual level, within communities, and across countries. Afrobarometer data offer a unique perspective on the distribution of languages and language capabilities from the viewpoint of the users of language rather than those who study it.


Access to justice still elusive for many Africans, Afrobarometer survey finds

In most African countries, substantial barriers still inhibit citizens’ access to justice, a new Afrobarometer analysis finds. 

Based on a special access-to-justice module in national surveys in 36 African countries, the sobering report identifies long delays, high costs, corruption, the complexity of legal processes, and a lack of legal counsel as major obstacles for citizens seeking legal remedies.


How good are Africa's elections? Afrobarometer video.

Video transcript:

Dozens of African countries regularly conduct national and local elections.

Each election picks a winner.

But beyond winners and losers, the quality of each election also shapes how people feel about their political system in general.

Free and fair elections make people want more democracy.

Elections tainted by repression, fraud, or violence have the opposite effect.

So how good are Africa’s elections?

Afrobarometer surveyed  more than 53,000 citizens in 36 countries, in every region of Africa.