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Is Nigeria’s economy in better shape than in 2015 as claimed by President Buhari?

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President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in an exclusive interview with international news outfit Bloomberg  said his administration will be leaving Nigeria in better shape than it met it in 2015. The president also stated that he is leaving Nigeria’s economy better than he met it in 2015 when he assumed office.

According to the president, “We leave Nigeria in a far better place than we found it. Corruption is less hidden, for Nigerians feel empowered to report it without fear, while money is returned; terrorists no longer hold any territory in Nigeria, and their leaders are deceased; and vast infrastructure development sets the country on course for sustainable and equitable growth.”  

Verdict: FALSE

 Verification: Although the President made extensive comments on different sectors,we verified his claim on the economy, and found out that what the president said were largely false.

Verifying the president’s claim, we analysed key economic indices which meet the World Bank’s criteria to ascertain whether an economy is performing or not. These criteria include inflation, debt level, exchange rate, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment rate and distribution of natural resources.

Inflation

Nigeria’s inflation rate in 2015 was a single digit of 9.01 per cent. A breakdown of inflation figures year on year showed that inflation rate at the end of 2015 was 9.01 per cent. In 2016 at the thick of the recession, it skyrocketed to 15.68 per cent. In 2017, it further moved up to 16.52 per cent. It however slowed to 12.09 per cent in 2018 and later 11.40 in 2019.

It again rose to 15.75 per cent in December 2020 which is the highest recorded in the past three years.

In 2021, inflation rate rose for the first time in eight months to 15.63 per cent, the reason attributed to the high yuletide spending.

Subsequently, the latest Consumer Price Index report by the National Bureau of Statistics indicated that Nigeria’s inflation rose to 15.7 per cent in February from 15.6 per cent in January.

Inflation rose to its highest level since 2017, rising from 16.82% recorded in April 2022 to 17.71% in May, according to the recently released Consumer Price Index report, by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Debt

On debt level, as of 2015 before President Buhari took over power, Nigeria’s debt revenue stood at N8.8 trillion, according to the Debt Management Office.

However, recent statistics from the DMO showed that Nigeria’s debt skyrocketed from N8.8 trillion in 2015 to N41 trillion as at June 2022. This represents an increment of over 500 per cent,

The country’s debt rose from N39.56 trillion in December 2021 to N41.60 trillion in the first three months of 2022 alone.

Fuel prices

In the same vein, checks by Daily Trust show that fuel price at the Buhari government’s inception stood at N87 per litre. As at May 2016, it had moved from N145 per litre representing a 66 per cent increase.

In 2020, it was further reviewed upwards to N162 per litre. The same year, the product sold for between N165 per litre and N220 per litre at the fueling stations. This was further compounded by the unavailability of the product with the major oil marketers saying they could not continue selling fuel at N165 per litre.

Exchange rate

In 2015 when President Buhari assumed office, the dollar was exchanging at N198/$ in the parallel market. By 2018, it was N306 to the dollar, and in 2019 it went up to N360 to the dollar and eventually exchanged at N520 in 2021.

From 2021 till date, the dollar at the parallel market is exchanging for between N600 to N610 as a result of the recently concluded party primaries where delegates were said to have been bribed with dollars.

Unemployment

Nigeria’s unemployment rate at the last quarter of 2015 stood at 10.4 per cent according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The figure went up to 14.2 per cent at the end of 2016. At the end of 2017, it moved up to 20.42 per cent. It moved up to 23.1 per cent in 2018 and the latest figures from the NBS indicate that unemployment rate now stands at 33.3 per cent.

Gross Domestic Product

A breakdown of the GDP figures from the National Bureau of Statistics and the World Bank from 2015 to 2020 shows that Nigeria’s GDP in 2015 when President Buhari assumed office stood at $486 billion; it declined to $404 billion when the country slipped into recession.

In 2017, GDP figures further declined to $375 billion. However in 2018, as the economy began to recover, the figures improved to $397 billion. In 2019, the figure surged to $448 billion.

By 2020, in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic which affected virtually every sector of the world economy, Nigeria’s GDP figures declined to $432 billion.

The GDP figures were estimated to have risen to $440 billion in 2021, with 3.98% growth of the economy even though official figures by the World Bank are still being expected.

Conclusion

Verifying the key economic parameters that determine if an economy is in a good shape, checks show that the key economic indices as at 2015 were better than what is obtainable currently. As such, the claim by President Buhari that he is leaving a better economy for Nigerians is FALSE.

This Factcheck is produced in partnership with the Centre  for Democracy and Development (CDD).

 

Credit: Daily Trust

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BREAKING: Court Dismisses Nnamdi Kanu’s Bail Application

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the application for bail by the detained leader of the Proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

Justice Binta Nyako, in her ruling on Tuesday, said the suit was a gross abuse of the court process and an attempt to continue to litigate on issues that have already been ruled on.

She, however, advised the applicant to approach the Court of Appeal on the issue of bail, should he feel aggrieved by the decision of the court.

The trial judge stated that since the ruling in July 2017 when Kanu was granted bail till date, the suit has suffered 15 adjournments and the matter has yet to enter a substantive hearing.

She added that she was not satisfied with the reason the IPOB leader gave for his failure to appear in court for the continuation of his trial.

Justice Nyako stated that from the records of the court, Kanu was represented by his lawyer on the day his bail was revoked, likewise his sureties and he has never been denied a fair hearing.

She held that a court could vacate a previous order when confronted with a cogent and verifiable reason.

In the trial judge’s words, “In the instant case, I have not been given any, neither have I been given any reason to set aside the order.”

She insisted that the IPOB leader must explain the reason why he breached the previous bail that was given to him before he could enjoy another favourable discretion from it.

Thereafter, the case was adjourned until November 14 for mention and to await the outcome of Kanu’s appeal at the appellate court.

Tuesday’s ruling comes a month after the court declined to release the embattled IPOB leader on bail on May 18.

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Ekweremadu Takes NIMC, NIS to Court

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Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, have sued the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and others over controversy surrounding David Ukpo’s real age.

Others mentioned in the suit are the Comptroller General (C-G), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); Stanbic-IBTC Bank; United Bank of Africa (UBA) and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc as 2nd to 5th respondents respectively.

Recall that Ekweremadu and his wife were, on Thursday, remanded in the UK police custody, after they were tried before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court for alleged conspiracy to facilitate the travel of Ukpo, alleged to be a minor, for organ harvesting.

The couple, however, denied the allegations and the court adjourned till July 7 for hearing.

But in an originating summon marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2022, dated and filed June 27 by their counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, before Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, the Ekweremadus asked the court for an order directing the NIMC to supply them with the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the biodata information of David Nwamini Ukpo.

The applicants said Ukpo’s National Identification Number (NIN):19438077110, which is in the possession of the agency, should be produced for the purpose of facilitating the criminal investigation and tendering same to establish their innocence with respect to Ukpo’s age in the criminal charges against them before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court.

They also sought an order directing the NIS C-G to supply the applicants with the documents and application form of David Nwamini Ukpo in the possession of the 2nd respondent presented for the issuance of International passport No. BO0569974 for the purpose of assisting criminal investigation and issuing same before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court, UK until July 7 in the alleged criminal charge brought against the applicants.

The lawyer noted that documents being sought to be handed over to the applicants will support the applicants in their defence and establish their innocence of the charges in the interest of justice.

Also, Bright Ekweremadu, the elder brother of the lawmaker, in the affidavit deposed to, said Ukpo informed the couple that he was 21 years old, having been born in the year 2000 and was ready to help Sonia.

Justice Ekwo fixed July 1 for hearing of the matter.

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‘23 died of hunger, unhealthy conditions in Katsina IDPs camp’

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Twenty-three have died of hunger, high blood pressure and depression at the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camp in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The chairman of the IDP camp, Sa’ad Salisu, disclosed this while speaking to some journalists in Jibia yesterday.

A record made available by the Jibia Development Association showed that at least 22,365 IDPs from Shimfida, Garin Maiwuya, Garin Zango, Garin Kwari (Farfaru) and Tsambaye villages live in Jibia town.

The IDPs are taking refuge at Government Girls’ Secondary School, Jibia

Salisu, who is also the chairman of the Shimfida Youth Development Association, said that at least 35 women had also given birth in the camp within the last four months, saying that the number could be even higher.

Another disturbing development as Salisu explained, was that the vast majority of the children both in the town and in the camp could not have access to education.

“We have over 3,000 children in this camp that left their communities with school uniforms but now cannot go to school because the government hasn’t provided a school for them in the camp,” he said.

Salisu then called on the state government to expedite action towards restoring security in their communities to enable them to return and continue with their farming activities.

In his reaction, the Jibia Local Government Chairman, Bishir Sabi’u, said the government had provided adequate relief materials to the IDPs.

“Fifteen bags of rice are being cooked for them in the camp daily. I do give them N200,000 weekly to support their daily activities in the camp,” he said.

 

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