A former Nigeria’s Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, recently made claims in a post on his verified Facebook page in which he proffered solutions on how to help the present government salvage the economy. Daily Trust verifies three of the claims made by the top politician:
Claim 1: Nigeria has 13.5 million out-of-school children
Claim 2: Nigeria is the third most terrorised nation on earth
Claim 3: NLNG delivered $18.3bn dividends to government in 20 years (ending 2020)
- Why University of Maiduguri deserves FG special intervention
- Fighter jet: NAF dismisses B/Haram’s claim, as experts call for synergy
13.5 million out-of-school children
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar claimed that Nigeria has 13.5 million out-of-school children.
VERDICT. Misleading. The claim that Nigeria has a 13.5 million population of out-of-school children is misleading judging from the revelation of the Minister of Education, Adamau Adamu that the figure had dipped to 6.95 million since May 2020. At best, Atiku’s claim was true as of 2018.
On March 28, 2020, Atiku shared a post on his verified Facebook Page with the title: “World’s Highest Unemployment Rate: Time To Help This Government Help Nigeria.”
In the post, the one time former number two citizen of Nigeria claimed that Nigeria has 13.5 million out-of-school children.
He made the claim while proffering solution to Nigeria’s unemployment problem.
“If we can get the 13.5 million out of school Nigerian children into school, we will turn the corner in one generation. If we do not do this, then the floodgates of unemployment will be further opened next year, and in the years to come,” he said.
Brief on out-of-school children
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) explains that the concept of out-of-school children implies that there is a group of children that should be in school but is not. This group is recognised both nationally and internationally as primary school-age children.
The Global Initiative on Out-of-school Children said the children excluded from learning opportunities are among the most vulnerable and hard to reach in the world.
“They come from the poorest households and often have to work to help support their families. Some face discrimination as ethnic minorities. Others live with disabilities. Most often they are girls,” the Initiative said.
In October 2018, Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Hammid Bobboyi, said the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria rose from 10.5 million in 2010 to 13.2 million in 2015.
Bobboyi said the estimate was from the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) published by the National Population Commission (NPC) with the support of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in 2015.
Bobboyi, who was represented by UBEC’s Director of Social Mobilisation, Bello Kaigara, said: “If you add the number of children that have been displaced and the increasing number of birth, you find out that our source in DHS conducted by UNICEF published in 2015 reveals the number of out of school children increased to 13.2 million.”
Daily Trust on Sunday observed that DHS was published in 2018 and not in 2015 as claimed by Bobboyi.
The 2020 Report of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) put the population of Nigeria’s out-of-school population at 13.7 million.
“Overall Nigeria has the largest population of out of school children in the world (13.7 million) and many of these are in Northern states,” the report stated.
However, on January 21, 2021, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said that the number of out-of-school children has reduced from 10.1 million in 2019 to 6.95 million in 2020.
Adamu, who spoke at the 2020 Annual Ministerial briefing in Abuja, said that the reduction was through the Federal Government’s Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) initiative.
The minister said that BESDA initiative in 17 states had been responsible for an additional enrolment of 1,053,422 children.
“We have recorded impressive school enrolment figures in 17 states of the federation where BESDA is being implemented.
“I can, however, tell you that through the BESDA initiative, we have reduced the figure of out-of-school children from 10.1 million since May 2020 to 6,946,328 million,” he said.
The claim that Nigeria has a 13.5 million population of out-of-school children is misleading judging from Adamu’s revelation that the figure had dipped to 6.95 million since May 2020. At best, the claim was true as at 2018.
Third most terrorised nation on earth
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar claimed Nigeria is the third most terrorised nation on earth.
VERDICT: True. The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) ranked Nigeria number three on the index of nations most terrorised.
Atiku said in the post that the unprecedented insecurity Nigeria is facing is the result of youth unemployment.
“Idleness is the worst feature of unemployment because it channels the energy of our youth away from production, and towards destruction, and that is why Nigeria is now the third most terrorised nation on Earth,” he claimed.
Checks show that the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) ranked Nigeria number three on the index of nations most terrorised.
GTI is a report published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
It was developed by IT entrepreneur, Steve Killelea to a comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism since 2000 by systematically ranking the nations of the world according to terrorist activity.
Nigeria scored 8.314 on 2020 Global Terrorism Index, behind Afghanistan with 9.592 score and Iraq with 8.682 score.
In 2016, Nigeria occupied the fourth position on the index behind Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan,but climbed to the third position in 2017 behind Iraq and Afghanistan.
A researcher, Jacob Zenn, wrote that Boko Haram was ranked the world’s “most deadly” terrorist group in 2016 and the country where it primarily operates, Nigeria, was ranked the world’s third “most terrorised” nation in 2017.
The U.S. Department of State’s 2019 report on terrorism in Nigeria indicated that terrorist actions by Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa had contributed to the internal displacement of about two million people within the states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, and the external displacement of more than 240,000 Nigerian refugees to neighboring countries, principally Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.
“BH and ISIS-WA continued attacks against government and security forces and civilians in the Northeast, resulting in deaths, injuries, abductions, and the capture and destruction of property,” the report stated.
The claim that Nigeria is the most terrorised nation on earth is true going by the global indexes of measuring terrorism. The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) ranked Nigeria number three on the index of nations most terrorised.
NLNG’s $18.3bn dividends to government
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar claimed Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) delivered $18.3 billion dividends to the Federal Government in 20 years (ending 2020).
VERDICT: True. NLNG disclosed the company paid $18.3 billion to the Federal Government in 20 years ending 2020 in its “Facts and Figures 2020”, an annual compendium of information, produced by the External Relations and Sustainable Development Division of Nigeria LNG Limited.
On the Federal Government’s plan to spend $1.5 billion on rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery, Atiku recommended the NLNG’s model.
“We are better off privatising our refineries and the NNPC through the time-tested LNG model in which the FG owns 49% equity and the private sector 51%. Recall that in 20 years ending 2020, the NLNG had delivered $18.3 billion dividends to the government irrespective of taxes and other benefit accruals to the country,’ he claimed.
Brief on NLNG
Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) was incorporated as a limited liability company under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 17, 1989 to harness Nigeria’s vast natural gas resources and produce Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) for export. It is owned by four shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%), Shell (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%) and Eni (10.4%). The company has two subsidiaries: Bonny Gas Transport (BGT) Limited and NLNG Ship Management Limited (NSML).
NLNG disclosed the company paid $18.3 billion to the Federal Government in 20 years ending 2020 in its “Facts and Figures 2020”, an annual compendium of information, produced by the External Relations and Sustainable Development Division of Nigeria LNG Limited.
The compendium showed that NLNG has also over the years paid dividends of over $37.6 billion, out of which 49 per cent went to the Federal Government of Nigeria courtesy of its shareholding in the company, via Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
On October 13, 2020, BusinessDay also reported that NLNG paid the Federal Government $18.3bn as dividends in the last 20 years (ended 2020).
The claim that Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) delivered $18.3 billion dividends to the Federal Government in 20 years is true. The company’s own disclosures corroborated the claim.