Buhari repeats false claim on Nigeria’s oil revenue in past years

President Muhammadu Buhari has again quoted wrong figures of Nigeria’s average crude oil revenue between 1999 and 2014 while speaking of his administration’s effort to build the economy with lean resources.

The president, in the interview aired by Channels TV on Wednesday, said Nigeria’s crude oil production from 1999 to 2014 averaged 2.1 million barrels per day at an average price of $100 per barrel.

“I challenge so many of you to go and check with the central bank or NNPC; the production from 1999 to 2014 was 2.1 million barrels per day average production at the average cost of $100 per barrel,” the president said in response to Channel’s Seun Okinbaloye.

Mr Okinbaloye had asked the president: “Did you envisage the enormity of the task when you promised to tackle insecurity as the president and commander in chief of our country?”

The president’s claim, which he has repeated several times in the past, has been fact-checked by PREMIUM TIMES and its sister organisation, Dubawa, and found to be untrue.

In his interview with Arise TV in June 2021 the president made the same false claims, amongst many other repeated rhetorics and analogies that have featured in his speeches.

In an earlier interview in 2019, he had said: “This country was getting 2.1 million barrels per day and getting it out of the Nigerian territory. With a cost of, average 100 American dollars per barrel. It went up to 143 but when we came it collapsed ….”

In 2021, speaking to Arise TV journalists who had pressed him on his government’s poor performance, Mr Buhari had said: “I would like you to check how much we are earning from 1999 to 2014. From 1999 to 2014, our production (if you check you will find out that) every production was 2.1 million barrels per day. At the cost of 100 American dollars per barrel. So, from 1999 to 2014, we were earning 2.1 million times 100 dollar per day.”

Our fact-check at the time, using OPEC figures, showed the claim was false. The price of crude oil during the period he referenced, stood at an average of $61.7 per barrel.

What Data Says

Nigeria’s average annual price of crude oil in 1999 was about $17.4 per barrel. It rose to $27.6 in 2000, dropped to $23.1 in 2001, and maintained a slight increase in 2002($24.3), 2003($28.1 ) and in 2004(36.5) respectively, data from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as quoted by Statista, a data analysis platform showed.

The data revealed that oil sold for $50.5 per barrel in 2005, $61 in 2006, $69 in 2007, $94.1 in 2008, $60.8 in 2009 and in 2010, oil price was $77.3.In 2011, the average annual price of oil had gotten to a record high of $107 per barrel, increasing to $109 per barrel in 2012, $105.8 in 2013 and touched $96.2 in 2014.

“Buhari lyrics”

Most speeches and offhand remarks (interviews) delivered by the president since 2016 have followed a similar pattern.

For instance, the president in his speech to Nigeria’s Democracy Day celebration in 2016 stated that the average oil price was $100 per barrel from 2010 till 2014.

In a similar message on October 1, 2016, the Nation’s Independence Day, President Buhari, while addressing the country, modified his statement that oil prices were “an average of 100 USD per barrel over the last decade.

During the independence day celebration in 2017 again, Mr Buhari extended the timeline to 1999-2015.

According to the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Nigeria has produced about 14 billion barrels of crude oil averaging about 827.5 million barrels per year since 1999, translating to an average oil production of 2.2 million barrels per day within the period under review. That affirms the president’s claim that Nigeria’s oil production figure averaged at about 2.1 million barrels per day.

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