Monday 27 May 2013

Government Officials Biggest Beneficiaries of Fuel Subsidy, Study Reveals

Government officials are the major beneficiaries of fuel subsidy in Nigeria, a research conducted by the three non-profit, independent, Africa-based organisations has revealed.
According to Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, leader of the threesome, Miss 'Kemi Okenyodo, the research was organised in collaboration with Afrobarometer Network and the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Ghana.
The Afrobarometer (AB), a comparative series of public opinion surveys that measure public attitudes towards democracy, governance, economy, leadership, identity and other related issues, conducted the first round of surveys in 12 countries between 1999 and 2001. The latest surveys were conducted between 2011 and 2012 in up to 35 countries, including Nigeria.

“Two thousand four hundred respondents were interviewed in their homes using personal, face-to-face interviews and multi-stage sampling technique,” Okenyodo said at a media briefing where the results were presented.
“To ensure adequate representation of adult Nigerian population, probability sampling procedure was used to neutralise any known form of bias that could affect the findings of the study. Respondents were males and females, aged 18 years and above.  Interviews were conducted throughout week days and weekends to ensure that respondents from all works of life were included in the sample.”

She explained that the purpose of Afrobarometer survey in Nigeria is to measure popular perspectives on the social, political, and economic environment, while giving the public a voice in policy-making processes by providing high-quality public opinion data to policy makers, policy advocates, civil society organisations, academics, media, donors and investors, and ordinary Africans.
“We went to the greatest length in quality control measures in order to ensure that the process of collecting and analysing the data we are presenting today adhered to the highest possible international standards in reliability,” she said, adding that the field administration of the survey questionnaire in Nigeria was handled by Practical Sampling International (PSI), a reputable social research firm that has worked with CLEEN Foundation and Afrobarometer network over the years and has conducted similar surveys for local and international organisations.

Presenting the findings of the survey, which focused on five areas — election, rotation of the office of President, creation of more states, corruption and fuel subsidy — she said:

“Sixty-two per cent of Nigerians say government should maintain the fuel subsidy. The Nigerian public has the belief that creation of more states and local governments will improve development of the country.
“Sixty per cent of Nigerians approve the rotation of Presidency across regions, against 40 per cent who say anyone should contest for the office of President regardless of the region.
“While majority of Nigerians say the quality of the 2011 general elections in Nigeria was better than that of 2007, wide majority of Nigerians say government officials benefits most from fuel subsidies and most Nigerian residents say it is difficult to start a small or medium scale business in Nigeria.”
Also speaking, Kathy Addy, CDD’s representative noted that the research helps government in formulating policies that will prioritise the needs of the people, while Gbolahan Adeniran, the senior special assistant to the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner For Justice, applauded the researchers for the “immense benefits” of the “scientific, unbiased and development-oriented researches” to the state.



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