Fact CheckPolitics

Fact-checking claims made by Bola Tinubu at NESG dialogue


Mr Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, spoke on his economic agenda and plans for tackling core issues beleaguering the Nigerian economy if elected as Nigeria’s president.

Former governor of Lagos State and presidential hopeful Bola Tinubu was recently a guest at the Summit House, the head office of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG). 

Mr Tinubu spoke at the NESG presidential dialogue, a platform for informed engagements with presidential candidates on the current state of the economy. 

Mr Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, spoke on his economic agenda and plans for tackling core issues beleaguering the Nigerian economy if elected as Nigeria’s president. 

Due to the wide circulation of Mr Tinubu’s claim by the mainstream media and its potential consequence on the electorates’ decision, it is pertinent that DUBAWA fact-checks his claims.

Claim 1 

Claim: Lagos State is the fifth largest economy in Africa.

Verification: In its 2021 report, the Lagos Bureau of Statistics revealed that Lagos’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was N26.5 trillion, an equivalent of $59.7 billion, using the official exchange rate of N445. 

Data released by the world bank shows that Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa, with a $440 billion GDP. South Africa’s GDP stood at $419.9 billion; Egypt’s $404 billion; Algeria’s $167.9; Morocco’s $142.8; Ethiopia’s $111.2 billion; Kenya’s $110 billion; Ghana’s $77.5 billion; Cote d’Ivoire’s $69.7 billion; Tanzania $67.8 billion; and Angola $67.4 billion. With a $59.7 million GDP, Lagos ranked 12th in Africa. Therefore, there are no facts to clearly state that Lagos State is the fifth largest economy in Africa, as Mr Tinubu claimed.

Verdict: False

Source: World Bank and Lagos State Bureau of Statistics

Claim 2 

Claim: Lagos State generated N600 million in revenue in 1999. 

Verification: Budgit shows that Lagos generated Internally generated Revenue (IGR) of N14.6 billion in 1999, representing a monthly average of N1.2 billion.  

However, when Mr Tinubu left office in 2007, the figure rose to N83.02 billion, a monthly average of N6.9 billion. Between 1999 and 2007, the IGR growth rate of Lagos stood at 468.63 per cent, showing a considerable increase.

No data supports the claim that Lagos was generating N600 million in 1999.

Verdict: False.

Source: Budgit

Claim 3 

Claim: Lagos State is generating over 50 billion a month.  

Verification: Latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated that in 2021 Lagos state generated N753 billion in IGR, representing 40 per cent of the total IGR generated by 36 states federation that year. 

The statistical office said this in its 2021 IGR report published in 2022. 

Similarly, in 2020, Nigeria’s commercial hub generated N660 billion and N646 billion in 2019. 

This means Lagos State generated an average of N56 billion every month between 2019 and 2021.

Verdict: True

Source: National Bureau of Statistics


Claim: The vast majority of Nigerians are young. 

Verification: With a population estimated at 206 million in 2020, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and seventh in the world

The country’s population is growing at 2.6% annually, one of the fastest rates globally. At this rate, Nigeria’s population could double within the next 25 to 30 years. 

The country has the largest population of youth in the world, with a median age of 18.1 years. About 70% of the population is under 30, and 42% are under 15, according to Worldometer’s elaboration of the latest United Nations data. 

Based on the aforementioned data, most of Nigeria’s population is young. 

Verdict: True  

Source: Premium Times, United Nations, Worldometer   

The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2023 Kwame Karikari Fellowship partnership with Premium Times to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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