Fact-Check: Is Nigeria the Only Oil Producing Country Importing Petroleum Products as Claimed by Femi Falana?

Fact-Check: Is Nigeria the Only Oil Producing Country Importing Petroleum Products as Claimed by Femi Falana?

By Gideon Adeyeni   Verdict: Incorrect   Full Story: Renowned Lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) recently claimed that Nigeria was the only oil-producing country in the World that was importing petroleum products. He was reacting to the pronouncement by Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on fuel subsidy removal during his inaugural speech when he (the president)

By Gideon Adeyeni

 

Verdict: Incorrect

 

Full Story: Renowned Lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) recently claimed that Nigeria was the only oil-producing country in the World that was importing petroleum products. He was reacting to the pronouncement by Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on fuel subsidy removal during his inaugural speech when he (the president) said: “Subsidy is gone.”

 

Falana, in a video posted by Channels TV on its Facebook page, said

 

“shamefully, this country is the only oil-producing country in the world that imports petroleum products…these guys collapsed them [Nigeria’s refineries]. We have an incompetent and reckless ruling class“.

 

Since the pronouncement on fuel subsidy removal by the new president, both the citizens and the government have been reacting (here, here, here and here) with all sides providing claims to support or oppose the policy.

 

The video in which Falana made the statement has now generated over one hundred and sixty eight thousand views, three thousand seven hundred reactions and four hundred and nine comments on Facebook. It can be found here. On Youtube, a longer version of the video has received over two hundred thousand views and over four hundred comments. It can be found here.

 

Channels TV posted the video on its Facebook page using the said quote by Falana as caption, while the Youtube video was posted with the headline “Subsidy Removal: Only Tinubu, Not NNPCL Has Power To Fix Fuel Prices – Falana”. See a merged screenshot of the two videos below:

 

 

 

 

Going by the virality of the claim and the personality of the claimant, our researcher went into a full verification of the claim to put the record straight.

 

Verification: Data obtained from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC’s) Annual Statistical Bulletin (2022) on world imports of petroleum products and crude oil exports by country (1,000 b/d) shows the claim is incorrect as there are at least twenty-six oil exporting countries that also import petroleum products.

 

The data shows that while Nigeria is the highest importer of petroleum products in Africa, with an import quantity of about four hundred and eighty-eight thousand (488,000 barrels per day), there are other major oil-producing countries outside Africa that import even higher volumes of petroleum products.

 

For instance, Mexico exports over one million barrels of crude oil while at the same time importing over a million barrels of petroleum products. The United States exports close to three million barrels of crude oil per day while importing about two million and four hundred thousand barrels per day. Brazil exports over a million barrels of crude oil per day and imports over seven hundred thousand barrels of petroleum products per day.

 

OPEC’s World imports of petroleum products and crude oil exports by country (1,000 b/d)
S/N Country Crude oil exports Imports of Petroleum product S/N Country Crude oil exports Imports of Petroleum product
1 Canada 3,195.0 204 14 Iraq 3,439.6 107.1
2 Mexico 1,091.4 1,003.90 15 Kuwait 1,740.5 34.1
3 United States 2,980.0 2,359 16 Qatar 457.6 22.2
4 United Kingdom 603.7 542.5 17 Saudi Arabia 6,227.4 361.3
5 Australia 253.9 681.2 18 United Arab Emirates 2,304.9 128.5
6 China 52.7 1,428.30 19 Algeria 446.0 20.6
7 India 0.0 1,012.80 20 Angola 1,079.5 54.9
8 Indonesia 117.4 462.8 21 Congo 250.7 0.2
9 Malaysia 209.2 790 22 Egypt 110.0 202.9
10 Brazil 1,292.3 737.8 23 Equatorial Guinea 92.8 4.3
11 Ecuador 349.3 168.6 24 Gabon 181.2 5.5
12 Venezuela 447.8 68.7 25 Libya 1,090.6 132.6
13 IR Iran 762.8 98.8 26 Nigeria 1,592.3 488.1

Courtesy: OPEC’s data of World imports of petroleum products and crude oil exports by country (1,000 b/d)

Conclusion

Through the verification, multiple sources of evidence show that Barrister Falana’s assertion was incorrect as OPEC’s latest data shows that, though Nigeria is the highest importer of petroleum products in Africa, many other oil-producing countries still import petroleum products. It is, therefore, convenient to conclude that the claim is misleading.

 

Gideon Adeyeni
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