Labour Party presidential nominee Peter Obi was caught making false claims about the export value of Nigeria.
He was twice caught lying to the media that the country had exported $30 billion less in goods and services in 2021. This is a far cry from smaller African peers like Morocco.
Obi claimed that Nigeria is “not a producer country” and has weak exports, which causes dollar scarcity.
However, the French news agency AFP found out that his statement was not true after fact-checking him.
Official data show that Nigeria has exported more than $30 billion annually for the past decade.
Obi made the claim in an hour-long interview, which was broadcast by Nigerian broadcaster Arise Television on July 6, 2022.
Obi stated that Morocco has a population of 36 million and their exports last year were over 50 billion dollars.
“In our [exports] without oil, it’s less than 30 billion [dollars] and there are 200 million people.” Morocco did not export any oil.
Two weeks later, he made the same claim again during a visit Abia state.
Nigeria is a country that covers 923,000 kilometres of territory and has a population of 200 millions. God has blessed us with oil, and other resources. Obi stated in the second interview that more than 100 million people live in poverty.
“But to prove that we aren’t a producer country, last year our total oil export was less than 30 Billion dollars. That is why we can’t find dollars today.”
Nigeria is Africa’s largest crude oil exporter.
This commodity, which accounted more than two-thirds total exports in 2021 was the country’s largest source of dollars inflows.
However, oil production fell during the first five months 2022, raising new concerns about the country’s currency stability and economic output.
The World Bank estimates that Nigeria’s total exports were worth US$ 53.6 billion in 2019. Macrotrends estimated that it was $63.6 billion. 41% of this figure was contributed by oil and gas.
In the same year, Morocco exported goods valued at $47 billion.
Nigeria exported goods worth US$47.6 million to the world in 2021.