FACT CHECK: Buhari Campaign ‘Lied’ On Agric Export Earnings

L-R: President Buhari and Festus Keyamo, SAN

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The claim by the President Muhammadu Buhari Presidential Campaign Organization that Nigeria earned N577 billion from export of agricultural produce in the first quarter of 2018 has turned out to be false.

The Director of Strategic Communications of the Buhari Campaign organization, Festus Keyamo SAN, had made the claim during a recent debate with Segun Showunmi, the spokesperson of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organization, which was aired on a Channels Television programme.

Keyamo had said, “In the first quarter of 2018, we earned N577 billion (US$1.89 billion) – the first ever in history – from agricultural produce.”

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But contrary to his claim, a fact-check conducted by AfricaCheck.org has shown that the Buhari Campaign organization spokesperson misled viewers who watched the TV programme.

The fact-checking organization quoted figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which showed that, “Nigeria earned N4.69 trillion ($15.3 billion) from all exports from January to March. (Note: The Central Bank of Nigeria’s official exchange rate is N306 to the US dollar.)”

Africa Check gave a breakdown of the country’s export earnings as:

Crude oil exports: N3.6 trillion or three quarters of the total (76.3%)

Other oil products such as liquefied natural gas and bitumen: N535.8 billion (11.4%)

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Manufactured goods: N434.37 billion (9.3%)

Other goods: (agricultural goods, solid minerals, raw materials, energy goods): N143.3 billion (3.1%)

The organization however noted that Mr Keyamo could have been correct if he referred to N577.6 billion (US$1.89 billion) as the total sum the country earned from all non-oil exports in the first quarter of this year.

“Nigeria earned N73.24 billion ($239.3 million) from agricultural exports in the first quarter of 2018,” said the fact-checking website.

It added that, “Boosting agriculture to create jobs is a key policy for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in the run-up to the 2019 elections. Festus Keyamo, the media director of his re-election campaign, claimed that the country earned N577 billion from agricultural exports from January to March 2018.

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“But agricultural products only brought in N73.24 billion in this period, official data shows. Keyamo’s figure is the same as the N577.6 billion earned by all non-oil exports in the first quarter.

“We therefore rate his claim as incorrect.”

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