A look at some of Buhari’s claims during his 8 years as president


AS Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure ends on May 29, it is worth noting that during his eight years tenure as Nigeria’s president, he frequently made claims about his administration’s achievements and performance, particularly in areas like education, security, the economy, and other national issues. 

The conducted fact-checks on these claims he made during his eight years in office and found some to be false and others true. In this analysis, we delve into some of the claims that we fact-checked and found to be false.

2018: Buhari’s repeated claim on oil price average

Buhari often claimed that the oil price average was $100 from 1999 to 2014. The president made the claims several times, including in his 2017 Independence speech.

However, contrary to Buhari’s claim, The ICIR fact check showed that the average price of crude oil per barrel from 1999 to 2015 was $61.7, and not $100, which he had repeatedly claimed since he became president. 

According to data from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as cited by Statista, the average yearly cost of crude oil exhibited fluctuations over the years, in 1999, it stood at approximately $17.4 per barrel, followed by $27.6 in 2000, $23.1 in 2001, $24.3 in 2002, $28.1 in 2003, and $36.5 in 2004. Subsequently, the price increased to $50.5 per barrel in 2005, $61 in 2006, $69 in 2007, $94.1 in 2008, $60.8 in 2009, and $77.3 in 2010.

In 2011, there was a significant surge in the average annual oil price, reaching a record high of $107 per barrel. The price then decreased slightly to $109 per barrel in 2012, $105.8 in 2013, and $96.2 in 2014.

When considering the period from 1999 to 2014, the average oil price amounted to $61.7 per barrel. This figure is considerably lower than the average of $100 per barrel that the President claimed. Consequently, it can be concluded that his claim is FALSE.

2020: Buhari once claimed that all local councils captured by Boko Haram in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa had been recovered

In his speech delivered on Friday, June 12, 2020, to commemorate National Democracy Day, Buhari claimed that “all the local governments that were taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa had long been recovered and are now occupied by indigenes of these areas.” 

Our fact-check from 2020 indicated that  Buhari’s claim was false, as the evidence available in the public domain invalidates it. Numerous media reports showed that certain regions in the three northeastern states were still experiencing repeated Boko Haram attacks, causing many locals to flee to, and continue to live in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps hosted by their state governments.

2022: Buhari claimed that Nigeria is better than how he met it

Another interesting false claim made by Buhari is that his administration is leaving Nigeria better than he met it.

The President, in his response to Bloomberg’s questions published on June 21, 2022, said that his administration would be leaving Nigeria “in a far better place” than he found it.

The President claimed that he had performed better than his predecessors, particularly in the areas of security, economy, and anti-corruption. However, our fact-check revealed that the claim is not true. Nigeria has actually experienced more insecurity-related attacks and deaths under Buhari’s administration. The economy of the country has also worsened under his administration.

2022: Buhari claimed that primary elections conducted by political parties were peaceful 

In his nationwide broadcast on Sunday, June 12, 2022, in commemoration of the 2022 Democracy Day, Buhari said primary elections conducted by political parties in the country for the 2023 general elections were peaceful and orderly.

But our fact-check showed that the President’s claim that primary elections of political parties at all levels were peaceful and orderly was mostly false.

Even though the primary elections were peacefully conducted in some parts of the country, our findings showed that the processes were marred by political thuggery, killings, stealing of ballots, and other forms of violence in many instances.

Findings from credible media reports showed that cases of violence were reported in no fewer than nine states, and at least five cases of fatality were recorded during the exercises, invalidating the president’s claim that they were peaceful.

2023: Claim on retrieved banknotes

On Thursday, February 16, 2023, Buhari addressed the nation on the redesigned naira notes amidst their scarcity. He claimed that since the commencement of this programme, about N2.1 trillion out of the bank notes previously held outside the banking system had been successfully retrieved.

Findings by The FactCheckHub as of the time show that the claim was FALSE.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said that as of October 2022, currency in circulation was ₦3.23 trillion out of which only ₦500 billion was within the banking industry and ₦2.7 trillion was held in people’s homes. According to him, since the commencement of the naira redesign policy, ₦1.9 trillion had been collected, which translated to about 75 per cent of the ₦2.7 trillion held outside the banking system.


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