As the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari’s eight (8) years tenure ends, there have been several discourse in terms of his performances. Shehu Sani a former senator, made several claims regarding the performance of the outgoing president on his official Twitter page on May 3, 2023.
The tweet has garnered over 223,000 views as of the time of this report.
CDD Election War Room checked these claims, and here is what we found.
CLAIM I: Muhammadu Buhari is leaving behind 77 trillion Naira debt.
According to data gotten from the Debt Management Office (DMO), the Director-General of the Debt Management Office, DMO (DG-DMO) explained that using the actual public debt stock of N44 trillion as at September 30, 2022 as a basis and considering several ongoing activities, the total public debt stock, that is the external and domestic debt of the Federal Government, thirty-six (36) States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would be about N77 Trillion. As of June 2015, when Buhari’s first term began, Nigeria debt profile stood at approximately N12.12 trillion.
According to the Debt Management Office, the projected debt stock by May 2023 will be N77 trillion Naira.
CLAIM II: Nigeria has 133 million poverty stricken citizens.
According to the European Anti-Poverty Network, people are considered to be “At Risk of Poverty or Exclusion” if they are at risk of relative monetary poverty (AROP indicator) and/or severely materially deprived (SMD indicator) and/or living in households with very low work intensity. People are counted only once even if they fall under all of the three situations.
On November 17, 2022, The Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), launched the results of the 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) Survey. The data obtained showed that 63%, which is about 133 million persons living within Nigeria are multidimensionally poor.
CLAIM III: According to UNICEF, 25 million Nigerians are at the risk of hunger.
What is the definition of hunger?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the global hunger index captures three dimensions of hunger: insufficient availability of food, shortfalls in the nutritional status of children and child mortality (which is, to a large extent, attributable to undernutrition). Accordingly, the index includes three equally weighted indicators: the proportion of people who are food energy-deficient, as estimated by FAO; the prevalence of underweight in children aged under 5 years, as compiled by WHO; and the mortality rate of children aged under 5 years, as reported by UNICEF.
On January 16, 2023, UNICEF released a press statement that “Nearly 25 million Nigerians are at risk of facing hunger between June and August 2023 (lean season) if urgent action is not taken, according to the October 2022 Cadre Harmonisé, a Government led and UN-supported food and nutrition analysis carried out twice a year.”
The data showed that there has been an increase in food security which gave rise to the 25 million of Nigerians facing hunger.
CLAIM IV: Nigeria has 10 Million out-of-school children
According to the United Nations, out-of-school children are children who are yet to be enrolled in any formal education excluding pre-primary education. The age range for out-of-school children is between six and eleven years.
UNICEF, reported that about 10.5 million of the country’s children aged 5-14 years are not in school. However, UNESCO announced in September 2022 that Nigeria now has about 20 million out-of-school children.
The data presented indicates that the figures reported by Shehu underestimate the number of children who are not currently enrolled in school.
In light of multiple data sources, it can be inferred that during Buhari’s government, there were notable surge in unemployment rates, economic instability, and insecurity in Nigeria. Despite focusing on improving security and implementing various policies to boost the economy during his campaign, the country’s economic and security conditions have experienced a significant decline over the course of his 8 years administration.