Society of African Journal Editors

Inkanyiso: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

Trust in government and the politics of fuel subsidy removal in Lagos, Nigeria.

Authors: J Ayodele

Journal: Inkanyiso: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

Government’s incompetence causes public restlessness; nevertheless, it overlooks how this shapes public trust. This paper examines how government’s failure to meet the expectations of the governed has caused it to lose public trust in Nigeria. Using exchange theory as its theoretical framework, the survey research design, involving the use of qualitative and quantitative methods, was adopted. It covered the three senatorial districts in Lagos using data obtained from 220 respondents selected through a multistage sampling procedure. Three focus group discussions were conducted for complementary qualitative data. Data analysis involved the use of simple percentages, chi square and content analysis. The findings indicated that 90.0% of the respondents said subsidy proceeds were poorly managed by government, that they distrust government (85.0%), equate trust with votes (60.0%) and that dishonesty reduces public trust (60.0%). To develop trust in government, 80.0% of the respondents suggested transparency. The paper concludes that nonfulfilment of promises by government erodes its trust by public. Therefore, the paper suggests that for public trust in government to endure, the culture of impunity should be uprooted from Nigerian polity . Keywords : Democracy, trust, fuel subsidy, politics, Lagos, Nigeria