Adewunmi Emoruwa, a lead strategist at Gatefield, has claimed that the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) West Africa, wrongly labelled a proven fact as false.
In a tweet posted on Monday, August 21, 2023, Emoruwa said, “CDD West Africa falsely claimed an actual fact was false using two false equivalencies that showed a lack of technical depth.”
The Twitter post has since garnered over 155,000 views, 154 reposts and 240 likes as of the time it was retrieved from the microblogging platform.
This was in response to a report published by the Centre’s fact-checking unit about a context-deficient claim made by Adewunmi in July 2023.
Claim: CDD West Africa wrongly labelled a proven fact as false
In a tweet dated July 9, 2023, Adewunmi Emoruwa said, “Nigeria is the 4th largest sugary drinks consuming country on earth”. This gives the impression that Nigeria is ranked the 4th largest consumer of sugary drinks globally as of the time the tweet was made.
However, the CDD War Room checked and found the claim to be inaccurate as the data by Euromonitor International where Nigeria was ranked the 4th largest soft drinks consuming country, was based on the volume of sales recorded in the year 2016, seven years ago.
We further checked for recent data and found no statistics stating that Nigeria is among the top 4 countries with the highest consumption of sugary drinks globally as of July 2023.
A survey by Statista on the per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks in 2019 revealed that Nigeria was not among the top 5 countries globally. Similarly, A 2023 report by the World Population Review (WPR) on soda consumption, shows that Nigeria was not ranked among the top 5 countries with the highest consumption globally.
For context, sugary drinks, also categorized as sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), refer to any beverage with added sugar or other sweeteners, according to the Harvard School of public health. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that sugary drinks are liquids that are sweetened with various forms of added sugars.
After discovering that there was no recent data ranking Nigeria as the 4th largest sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consuming country globally, the CDD War Room found the claim to be misleading and inaccurate.
A month after the publication of the fact check, Adewunmi sent a rejoinder where he cited reports from The Punch, Businessday, and The Nation as the sources of the claim he made in a tweet he posted on July 9, 2023. However, we assessed all these reports, published in 2017, and found that they all made it clear that Nigeria was ranked according to the sales made in 2016.
One of the reports by The Nation read, “Nigeria ranked fourth globally in total volume sales of soft drinks in 2016, statistics from Euromonitor International, global market intelligence research publishers has revealed.”
Similarly, Adewunmi also referred to a 2022 analysis published by Premium Times. However, we found that Premium Times made proper reference to the 2016 global soft drinks market analysis without giving the impression that Nigeria was ranked the fourth largest sugary drinks consumer in the world at the time of the report.
The claim by Adewunmi Emoruwa that CDD West Africa wrongly labelled a proven fact as false, is misleading. The CDD War Room confirms the fact-check on the claim which implied Nigeria ranked as the 4th largest consumer of sugary drinks as of July 2023, clarified that the claim was inaccurate, as recent data show that Nigeria was not among the top 5 countries globally in terms of sugary drinks consumption. The report established that the data, which had ranked Nigeria 4th in soft drinks consumption, was based on sales recorded in 2016, which was 7 years ago.