By Talatu Bala
Fact checkers went to work Friday night to puncture some of the statistics quoted by Peter Obi, the vice-presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party at the live TV debate at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
In arguing that petrol subsidy that he estimated to be a trillion naira a year was a waste, Obi said there are only two million vehicles in Nigeria.
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Fact-checking revealed otherwise. According to the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS), Nigeria has over 11.5million vehicles on the road, as of 2017.
Obi also claimed that intra-African trade is just a mere 9 percent. He was proven wrong. Intra-African trade, according to Afreximbank Africa Trade Report 2018, is estimated at 15 percent. In 2016, this was estimated at 18 percent of its total exports and imports. IMF even gave an estimate of 20 percent of the total trade volume of about one trillion dollars.
Obi was correct when he said oil exports still account for 80 percent of Nigeria’s dollar revenue. However, oil contribution to GDP has dwindled to about 10 percent, according to NBS.
Despite the statistical goofs, Obi was praised by many PDP sympathizers for his performance during the debate.