The Labour Party’s Presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections Peter Obi has made several claims that have turned out to be false, despite his popular 'Go and Verify' campaign slogan.
Obi, in the latest figures quoted, claimed that annual exports from Nigeria was less than $30 billion and we have over 100 million people living in poverty.
“Nigeria is a country with 923,000 square kilometres of land, and a population of 200 million people. God blessed us with oil and other resources.
“But to show that we are not a producing country, last year, our total export including oil was less than 30 billion dollars, that is why we can’t find dollars today. We have over 100 million people living in poverty,” Obi said during a recent interview in Abia state.
Obi also claimed last Monday during a Channelstv interview that about 100 out of 150 players in America’s National Basketball Association (NBA) are Nigerians.
“If you go into American NBA, out of 150 players, almost 100 are Nigerians. These youths are so talented that they are where you need to focus to reach their talent and productive energy to turn around the country,” he said.
How true are these claims?
Contrary to Obi’s claim, Nigeria’s annual exports have exceeded the $30 billion mark since 2005 and US$47.6 billion worth of goods where shipped from the country around the globe in 2021.
Between 2005 and 2021, Nigeria’s export peaked at $143. 7 billion in 2012, contributing 31.6 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The country’s biggest export remains crude oil, representing over three-quarters (76 per cent) of its total exported goods by value in 2021.
Latest available country-specific data shows that 70 per cent of products exported from Nigeria were bought by importers in: India, Spain, France, Netherlands, Canada, United States of America, Italy, Indonesia, mainland China, South Africa, Portugal and Ivory Coast.
Also, World Bank data which show that 89 million Nigerians live in poverty, belies Obi’s claim that over 100 million citizens are poor. The bank projects the number of poor persons in Nigeria could rise to 95 million by the end of 2022, still less than the figure quoted by the Presidential candidate.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports that a similar claim made by Obi in 2018 that Nigeria’s poverty rate was growing by 6 per cent every minute, also turned out to be false.
The NBA, a professional basketball league in the North America founded on June 6, 1946, is composed of 30 teams - 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada - and is one of the major professional sports league in both countries.
Available data has also shown there are over 500 players in the NBA and 109 international players from 39 countries are on opening-night rosters for its landmark 75th Anniversary 2021/2022 Season.
For the eighth consecutive year, Canada is the most-represented country outside of the U.S., followed by Australia, France and Germany (seven players each). Nigeria, Serbia, Spain and Turkey each have five players.
The five Nigerian players are: Charles Bassey, Josh Okogie, Precious Achiuwa, Udoka Azubuike and Chimezie Metu.
In addition, there are six players representing other countries who have ties to Nigeria and they are: Deandre Ayton (Bahamas), Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Usman Garuba (Spain), Ogugwa Anunoby (United Kingdom) and Eugene Omoruyi (Canada), bringing the total number of Nigerians in the NBA to 11.
False: Claims that Nigeria’s annual exports were less than $30 billion in 2021 and that there are about 100 Nigerians in the NBA are false, while his comment that over 100 million Nigerians live in poverty, is exaggerated.