FULL STORY On Tuesday, June 6, 2023, Jimoh Ibrahim, the Ondo-born businessman and All Progressives Party (APC) Senator from Ondo- South Senatorial District, made a series of claims in a live interview on Channels Television, tagged: Politics Today here and here. Amongst other claims we verified three namely that: Nigeria debt ratio to GDP is
On Tuesday, June 6, 2023, Jimoh Ibrahim, the Ondo-born businessman and All Progressives Party (APC) Senator from Ondo- South Senatorial District, made a series of claims in a live interview on Channels Television, tagged: Politics Today here and here. Amongst other claims we verified three namely that:
- Nigeria debt ratio to GDP is about 31%.
- There are 11,866 federal government’s abandoned projects in Nigeria.
- Second Niger Bridge is 34% completed (after) more than 10 years.
Considering the personality of the claimant as a public figure and the impacts his claims will have on the listening public, we find it incumbent that these claims be verified.
Claim 1: Nigeria Debt-GDP ratio is about 31%?
A quick check of records at the Debt Management Office, Nigeria (DMO) threw up its first Quarterly report (2022) which shows that the total public Debt to GDP as at June 30, 2022 was 23.06% compared to the ratio of 23.27% as at March 30, 2022.
This was corroborated by a press release published by Channels on March 30, 2023, showing the latest release from DMO. According to the data, “The total public debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio for December 31, 2022, was 23.20 per cent”.
Despite the negative report on the Nigeria’s Debt to GDP ratio, no recent reports have shown that the Debt ratio has recorded up to 31% as claimed by Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim. For instance, in its 2019 report, BudgiT Nigeria reported that the Nigerian government debt to GDP ratio was estimated to be in the region of 24.1 percent.
Verdict: Incorrect, Nigeria Debt Ratio is not 31%.
Claim 2: That there are 11,866 abandoned federal government projects in Nigeria. Incorrect
According to a 2021 press release by The Nigerian institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), during the opening of a 2-day workshop with the theme: “Essentials of Construction Estimating for successful Project Delivery”. Nigeria’s abandoned projects were in the region of 56,000 (worth N12 trillion) scattered across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
In a another publication by thisdaylive.com, (2021) the Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria (CIPMN) confirmed that the Nigeria’s abandoned projects were about 56, 000 across the country. The Team Lead of the Practice Sub-Committee of CIPMN, Mr Inimi Stephen, disclosed this during their annual general meeting, investiture, induction, DUCAP training and award in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Punchng.com quoted the release by The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors who gave the estimate also hinted that there are about 56,000 abandoned projects in Nigeria.
Verdict: The recent claim by Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim about the abandoned projects in Nigeria is, therefore, incorrect. Various sources support the figure to be 56,000 and not 11,800 and he did not attribute his source to any verifiable official data bank.
Claim 3: That the Second Niger bridge is still 34% completed more than 10 years, a decade into the project.
The 1.6km Second Niger Bridge linking Asaba, Delta State with Onitsha, Anambra State and other South-East States was flagged off on March 10, 2014 during Jonathan administration as President of Nigeria. According to former Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, the second Niger Bridge was first muted in 1965. Despite that the bridge has since been commissioned, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, as at June 6, 2023 claimed that it was still 34% completed more than 10 years a decade into the project.
How true? We verified his claim.
Verification: In a report published on the 29th October, 2020 by the Cable, president Buhari’s full speech during presentation of the 2021 Budget confirmed that the Second Niger Bridge was at about 46 percent completion.
On the 9th of March, 2022, Channelstv.co reported the Federal Government as saying that the Second Niger Bridge linking Anambra and Delta states, scheduled for completion in February 2022, was at 91 per cent completion.
Verdict: The claim that the Second Niger was still 34% completed more than 10 years a decade into the project was incorrect. Multiple sources show that the project has since been commissioned.