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LIVE FACT-CHECK: Soludo, Ozigbo, Uba debate ahead of Anambra Governorship election

5 mins read

The stage is set for three governorship candidates vying for the governorship position in Anambra state to debate ahead of the election.

The three aspirants; Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are on stage to field questions from Arise Crew during the debate.

The debate is supported by Enough-is-Enough Nigeria (EiE Nigeria) and is being broadcast live on the ARISE NEWS Channel, the Anambra Broadcasting Service Radio and TV and the Ogene FM.

Dubawa and Premium Times are monitoring the debate for live fact-checks to ensure accuracy of claims.

Yes, Soludo won Best Governor of the Central Bank thrice

Claim 1: Charles Soludo claims he was three times winner of the best governor of the Central bank award.

Verification

The Central Bank’s document on Soludo’s service indicates that he has won the Global and African Central Bank Governor of the Year, in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Different international media institutions, including The Banker Magazine published by the Financial Times of London, gave him the awards.

True, Anambra has lowest unemployment rate in Nigeria

Claim 2: Charles Soludo (APGA) said Anambra State has the lowest unemployment rate at 17% per cent. 

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Verification

According to a report by  the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Anambra State has the lowest unemployment rate, with 17% in the second quarter of 2020.

True, Ngige, not Obiano enacted the Vigilante Act

Claim 3: Charles Soludo (APGA) said the vigilante act was not enacted during Obiano’s government. 

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Verification

According to a report by real-world and Amnesty International, the Anambra State House of Assembly enacted the Anambra State Vigilante Group law in 2004, under Chris Ngige PDP-led government.  The vigilante act was enacted to give private groups the right to prevent crime in the state.

Abati, not Soludo, is right about Anambra unemployment rate

Claim 4: Rueben Abati, one of the anchors of the debate said the unemployment rate is at 44% but Charles Soludo, APGA’s candidate, contradicted this saying it is at 13%.

Although Rueben insisted he was quoting a data source which he did not name, Soludo countered his claim with that of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). 

“…and you have the unemployment rate of 44% and if you add underemployment to that, you have 60.7%,” Abati said.

Abati is right having quoted unemployment data for Q4 2020 which is the latest released by NBS

Verification

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) unemployment data for the second quarter (Q2) of 2020 shows Anambra State’ unemployment is at 13.1%. However, that of the fourth quarter (Q4), which is the latest, puts the percentage at 44.22.

True, state governments don’t grant tax concessions to companies

Claim 5: Charles Soludo (APGA) claims  State Governments do not have the power to give tax concessions to companies.

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Verification

State governments do not have the power to give tax concessions or incentives. According to tax summaries, the Federal Inland Revenue Services, under the federal government, gives incentives and concessions to companies.

Soludo’s claim on COVID-19 confirmed cases true

Claim 6: Soludo (APGA) said there are over 2,000 COVID-19 confirmed cases in Anambra

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Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) data shows 2,387 cases as at November 1, 2021 have been confirmed.

Soludo’s claim on COVID-19 death rate partly true

Claim 7: APGA’s candidate, Charles Soludo, claims Anambra state has one of the lowest, if not the lowest death rate in the country.

Verification

Our findings show this is not true as Anambra state’s death rate which is 19 is not the lowest t but could be counted as one of the lowest. There are 4 other states with lower figures NCDC’s data show  – Jigawa’s death rate is 17, Kebbi has 16, Zamfara has 8 and Kogi has 2.

No separate data on Anambra’s primary, secondary school enrolment data

Claim 8: Charles Soludo (APGA) said 65% of Anambra State primary and secondary school enrolment is private.

No supporting data

Verification

Official statistics from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) on public and private schools released in 2018, which is the latest, didn’t give a breakdown of private and public school enrollment. 

Insufficient evidence on COVID-19 vaccination in Anambra

Claim 9: Charles Soludo (APGA) said over 92,000 vaccinations have been administered in Anambra.

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Verification

Data by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) as at June 2021, shows 33,503 persons have received their first dose of the vaccine in Anambra state.  No recent data to show the current vaccination figure. 

UBEC data shows Anambra out-of-school children over 90,000

Claim 10: Ngozi Alaegbu, who co-anchored the debate, said Anambra state has 90,000 out of school children.

Verification

According to data gleaned from the 2018 digest of basic education statistics by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), which is the latest, Anambra state houses 118, 314 out of school children. Which is about 15 per cent of the state population within 6-11 years old. A google search revealed that Miss Alaegbu based her claim of 90,000 out of school in Anambra state on the word of a researcher and not from the data from the education board. 

True, Ozigbo clinched Best CEO Award as claimed

Claim 11:  Valentine Ozigbo (PDP), claims he was once awarded the best CEO award of the year. 

Verification

According to the seven stars luxury hospitality and lifestyle awards, Ozigbo won the 2016 Seven Stars awards as  CEO of the year.  

Soludo’s claim Anambra’s general hospitals are only ones offering vaccines false

Claim 12: Anambra is the only state where a general hospital is administering vaccines.

Verification

A search on the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) website shows general hospitals in other states provide vaccines. Also, some persons who have received the vaccines confirmed they got their vaccine from general hospitals. 

EDITOR’s NOTE: Claims 4 and 10 have been updated to reflect new revelation which faulted our earlier fact-checks.

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