78 per cent Nigerians trust the media in new Edelman survey
• Adebule says report will impact efficiency, service delivery
A trust and credibility survey conducted by Edelman Public Relations firm, has revealed that 72 per cent of Nigerians in mainstream institutions of media, government, business and non-governmental organisations consider trust to be the most important factor in the patronage of a product or relationship with an organisation. The survey, which began in 2001, included Nigeria among its sample for the first time this year due to the alliance with Chain Reactions Nigeria.
The report showed the media and non-governmental organisations in Nigeria as being trustworthy with 78 per cent of Nigerians saying they still trust the media despite the rise of fake news while 81 per cent affirmed their trust in NGOs. The trust score for business is 62 per cent while government has 60 per cent. It said most Nigerian consumers explained that the trust they have in manufacturing companies is the major reason for their continued purchase of the products. It also showed that about 87 respondents believed that improvement of the Nation’s economy should be the major motivation of companies rather that selfish ambitions, which could lead to collapse of business enterprise.
While speaking at the event, Managing Director, Edelman South Africa, Mr. Jordan Rittenberry, lamented the decline of trust in the four mainstream organisations in 14 of the 28 countries sampled and called on board members of the institutions to renew their trust with the consumers through improved investment.
“Over time trends have shown there is low trust in business and non-governmental organisations,” he said. “So, it is important that people in these institutions pay more attention to how the citizens trust them.”
Rittenberry added that the media is the least trusted due to the surge of fake news, explaining that the menace escalated from a mere issue to a key one that shapes perception, noting, “People define media as both content and platforms; so, nearly seven in 10 worry about false information or fake news being used as a weapon.”
Managing Director/Chief Strategist, Chain Reactions Nigeria, Israel Opayemi, stated that the inclusion of Nigeria in the yearly survey for the first in the 18-year history of Edelman Trust Barometer was in fulfillment of the promise last year that Nigeria would be among the top countries sampled by Edelman.
Opayemi also spoke on the Nigerian data from the survey, which showed that government is the least trusted, and cautioned against condemnation of government by stakeholders, but sought the help of communication professionals to redesign the architecture of government’s communication in Nigeria in order to overcome the challenges of trust and credibility assets of government. He explained that the trust Nigerians have in NGOs was accurate due to their timely interventions in time of crises.
Opayemi furthermore cautioned businesses and governments, which are on the brink of completely losing trust of the masses to sit up before sliding into what he termed the “negative zone.”
According to him, “From what we have seen in the survey, Nigerians place a high premium on trust. It is therefore important for business leaders to ensure that the company is trusted, that it communicates regularly with clients and customers, and that their products and services are of high quality. They must also communicate regularly with employees and the CEOs must champion the effort.”
Deputy Governor of Lagos State, who was special guest of honour, Mrs. Idiat Adebule, represented by Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Ronke Shoyobo, commended Chain Reactions Nigeria for its phenomenal feat, saying the report would serve a great purpose in renewing the trust between government and the governed as well as service delivery.
“No doubt, this year’s report and the debate of its implications by eminent representatives of the Nigerian government, the business community, the media and non-governmental organisations here today will strengthen the fabric of healthy relations and communications in our nation, particularly government intervention policies and programmes.” She declared.
Dignitaries at the presentation ceremony cut across the four mainstream institutions of the Nigerian society such as government, business, media and non-governmental organisations as well as the Nigerian marketing communications sector. They included Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Wale Oluwo represented by a Director in the Ministry, Mr. Adebayo Ajisebutu, Vice President, Centre for Value and Leadership, Mr. Adegbenro Rasheed, Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Lagos State Chapter, Mr. Olusegun McMedal, Chairman/CEO, C&F Porter Novelli and past president of PRCAN, Mr. Nn’emeka Maduegbuna, CEO, Blueflower Communications, Mr. Chido Nwakanma, CEO, SY &T Communications, Mr. Simon Tumba, CEO, TruContact, Dr. Ken Egbas, Chief Operating Officer, Soulcomms Publicis, Moji Saka, Chief Operating Officer, BlackHouse Media, Mr. Moruff Adenekan, and Lead Consultant, StepCraft, and Mrs. Eniola Mayowa amongst others.