President Muhammadu Buhari, in a bid to defend his administration, has again spread misinformation regarding the records of crude oil prices under past administrations.
POLITICS NIGERIA, in its support for verification and accountability, has run a check on the President’s claim.
CLAIM: Crude oil sold for $100 from 1999 to 2014
In an interview with Arise Television aired in the early hours of Thursday, Buhari said Nigeria’s Brent crude oil sold for $100 between 1999 and 2014.
It should be noted that former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, who are members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ruled between the said period.
“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 barrel per day. At the cost of 100 American dollar per barrel. So, from 1999 to 2014, we were earning 2.1 million times 100 dollar per day.”
“Look at the state of infrastructure. Look at our road. Look at rail. Look at power. And tell me which country develops without infrastructure,” he said, blaming the PDP led government for the woes of the country.”
Checks by POLITICS NIGERIA however revealed that this was not the first time the President reeled out such figures. On October 1, 2016, the Nation’s Independence Day, President Buhari, said that oil prices were “an average of 100 USD per barrel over the last decade.”
He did in 2018 while campaigning for a second term in office, which he eventually got.
“I have challenged everybody in Nigeria to check in Europe, America and Asia that Nigeria was producing 2.1 million barrels per day at the cost of $100 per barrel. So, Nigeria was earning 2.1 million barrels, times $100, times 16 years,” he said during a rally.
He also restated the same while receiving a delegation of the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) at the Presidential Villa in the same year. “When we came, it collapsed to $37-38 and it was oscillating between $40 and $54 sometimes”, Buhari said.
POLITICS NIGERIA however fact checks the claim using relevant data.
Data from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) culled from Statista, one of the world’s leading providers of market and consumer data, showed the prices of bent crude between 1999 to 2014.
In 1999, the average annual price of crude oil was about $17.4 per barrel. It was $27.6 in 2000, $23.1 in 2001, $24.3 in 2002, $28.1 in 2003 and in 2004, it was $36.5. 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.
The average annual price of oil had reached a record high of $107 per barrel in 2011. It further increased to $109 in 2012 and dropped off to $105.8 and $96.2 in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Further analysis showed that between the period under review, it sold for as less as $20 and as much as $109 per barrel.
By POLITICS NIGERIA’s calculation, the oil price averaged between 1999 and 2014 is $61.7 per barrel.
This newspaper reached out to Buhari’s spokespersons, Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina, for clarifications but they did not respond to the enquiry sent via texts.
VERDICT: Since records and POLITICS NIGERIA’s analysis showed that crude oil sold for an average of $61.7 per barrel between 1999 to 2014, the President’s claim of $100 per barrel is FALSE.