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Amaechi makes false claim that money left by Jonathan could not sustain Nigeria for three weeks

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ON DECEMBER 26, 2021, Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the money left behind by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration could not sustain the country for three weeks.

He made the claim on a Channels Television’s programme titled, ‘Hard Copy’, The Punch reported.

The claim was reported on multiple news platforms; the reports were also shared widely across various social media platforms.

Some of the publications include:

Figure 1: The Punch newspaper, which published the report, is one of the national newspapers in Nigeria.

Figure 2: Sahara Reporters is one of the online newspapers in Nigeria which published the report.

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Figure 3: The Cable, another online newspaper, also published the report.

THE CLAIM

The money left behind by former President Goodluck Jonathan could not sustain Nigeria for three weeks.

THE FINDINGS

Checks by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.

Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) show that Nigeria had $28.6 billion in its foreign reserve when former President Jonathan left office in May 2015.

Further findings show that Jonathan’s successor, President Muhammadu Buhari’s first Appropriation Act in office (2016 budget), was N6.06 trillion. This was Nigeria’s annual budget for the year.

Nigeria’s Naira exchanged for the US Dollar was  – maximum official rate – N305.21 as of October 2016.

Converting the 2016 budget of N6.06 trillion (N6,060,677,358,227) by the then prevailing exchange rate of N305.21 gives  $19.8 trillion ($19,857,400,996.78.) According to the CBN data, this is much less than the $28.6 billion left in the country’s treasury.

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Figure 4: Nigeria’s Naira exchanged at a maximum official rate of N305.21 as of October 2016.

If the country’s 2016 budget had been financed totally from its foreign reserve, Nigeria would still have about $10 billion left in its reserve.

From the findings above, Nigeria’s foreign reserve, as of when former President Jonathan left office in May 2015, is much more than what the President Buhari-led government budgeted as its expenditure in its first year in office.

THE VERDICT

The claim by Amaechi that money left behind by former President Jonathan could not sustain Nigeria for three weeks is FALSE, as reports indicate that the country’s foreign reserve had $28.6 billion as at when his successor took over.

  • The FactCheckHub produced this fact-check in partnership with the Code for Africa’s PesaCheck

This is republished from the Factcheckhub.

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