FACT-CHECK: No firm evidence APC is Nigeria’s face of “change”

John Odigie Oyegun, APC National Chairman
By Tolu Ogunlesi, Adewale Maja Pearce and Adam Alqali

Nigeria’s March 28 presidential election will be the first in which the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has faced serious opposition. The All Progressives Congress (APC) was formed in 2013 and is led by former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari – its presidential candidate.

The APC has made rapid political gains and has welcomed swathes of defectors from the ruling party. It now governs 14 states and has edged a majority in the House of Representatives.

Recent public polls put Buhari and President Goodluck Jonathan in a dead heat for the top job, each commanding about 42% support.

Buhari, who was in power for 20 months from 1983, is seen as being strong on corruption and security. Much of his party’s campaign has focused on those issues, couching his appeal in the vague language of “change”. Is there any proof that his party delivers?

Electricity

The claim: “The only states which have invested billions into and actively developed and built independent power plants… can be found in APC governed states.”

Our verdict: This claim, made in a television advert, is false. PDP states have also invested in independent power plants (IPPs).

APC states do however appear to have been particularly proactive regarding power generation. Among them, Lagos – the commercial capital – stands out. It has built six functional independent power plants, with a total capacity of 60MW, to power public schools, hospitals, street lighting, and government facilities across the state. Other states investing in power include Kano, which is undertaking a 35MW IPP, and Sokoto.

However, a number of APC state governments, like Oyo, Osun, Ogun and Ekiti, have not invested in any power plant projects. A 49MW power plant inherited by the APC government in Ogun State is not currently in use.

Most of the IPPs in Rivers State were originally built when the state was under the control of a PDP government; state governor Rotimi Amaechi defected to the APC a little over a year ago.

Other PDP states have also made efforts in the power sector. The Akwa Ibom state government’s 190MW capacity power plant predates Lagos’ IPPs. Delta state has also invested billions of naira in an IPP, although the project has since become bogged down in controversy.

Roads

The claim: “The APC has built thousands of kilometres of quality roads.”

Our verdict: The claim that thousands of kilometres of roads have been laid, also made on television, is true. Whether they are “quality” is difficult to ascertain.

It is not possible to quantify the total length of road the opposition has built, because most states in Nigeria do not make their budgets publicly available or publish comprehensive project lists. However, “put together, APC states have built thousands of kilometres of road,” confirms Stanley Achonu, of the Lagos-based BudgIT Nigeria, a start-up using creative technology to represent budgets.

For instance, Sokoto has reportedly constructed 3,775 miles (6,075km) of road in the past seven years. Local press say that over 1,000km of new roads have been built in Rivers state. In a briefing last year, Lagos state said it had completed 147km of roads, with another 211km ongoing. Lagos is home to some of the nation’s more innovative infrastructure public-private partnerships, such as the Lekki-Epe Expressway, and quality constructions like the Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge.

Quality is dependent on the contractor, and harder to ascertain. Poor construction and maintenance mean that many of Nigeria’s public roads degrade almost as fast as they are built. “Most of the roads cannot be described as quality,” Achonu argues. “APC states like Kano, Rivers, Lagos, Edo have done well in terms of quality of roads, but poorly done roads can be found. States like Imo have more of badly done roads than quality roads.”

Nigerians are not particularly happy with the state of their roads, whether state or federal. A 2013 snap poll by NOIPolls, a Gallup-affiliated agency, showed that 7 out of every 10 consider them “unsafe”.

Pensions

The claim: “We [Kano state] have increased the pension by more than 4,000%.”

Our verdict: This claim, specific to Kano state, is misleading.

A 2012 pension review made available to Africa Check by Suleiman Abdullahi Dederi, the spokesman of the Kano State Pension Fund Trustees, showed only 1 out of the 10 different categories of pensioners in the state have enjoyed 4,000% increases to their pension payments. Those in the 9 other categories only enjoyed increases ranging between 10% and 45%.

According to the review, Kano’s pensioners were classified according to their monthly earnings. The take-home of pensioners who were previously receiving between 135 and 4,000 naira ($0.67-19.9) has been increased to N5,000. That equates to a more than 4,000% increase for those who were previously receiving below N1,000.

Those that were receiving between N4,001 and N5,000 got a 45% increment; whereas the pension of those receiving between N5,001 and N10,000 was increased by 40%. Other increments were for the categories: N10,001 – N15,000  (35%); N15,001 – N20,000 (30%); N20,001 – N30,000 (25%); N30,00I – N40,000 (20%); N40,001 – N50,000 (15%); and N50,001 and above (10%).

“There are now ten categories of pensioners who have all benefited from the increment,” said Balarabe Gwarzo, chairman of the Kano state branch of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners. “This has really changed the lives of our members especially those that were receiving as meagre as N135 a month.”

Schools

The claim: “We built 500 of the best model primary schools in Africa.”

Our verdict: Africa Check could not independently verify this claim, made in a speech by Rotimi Amaechi, the governor of Rivers State.

Amaechi’s policy on education has drawn attention, with students reportedly moved from old to new classrooms. However, we were unable to confirm if as many as 500 primary schools have been completed and are active. Exam records, which could be used to judge their standards against other primary schools in Nigeria, are not readily available. Independent observers in the past have criticised the quality of new Rivers schools, which they say differ from what was promised.

Revenue

The claim: “Internally generated revenue (IGR) increased from 300-million naira to 1.5-billion naira per month in Osun State.”

Our verdict: This claim was made by governor Rauf Aregbesola on a number of occasions in late 2013, and features today on the Osun State’s “achievements” board. While not far off the mark, it is exaggerated.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Osun generated N3.376-billion ($16.7-million) IGR in 2010; 7.398-billion in 2011; and 5.020-billion in 2012.

This means that in 2010 – the year Aregbesola took office – Osun State generated an average of N281-million every month. The N300-million figure pushed by the state for that year is therefore roughly accurate. In 2011, the IGR soared to an average of N616-million per month. But in 2012 the numbers dropped, to an average of N418-million per month.

There is no national data for Osun 2013. But in a September 2014 note, Global Credit Ratings, a ratings agency, noted that Osun State generated N13.1-billion in IGR in 2013, translating to about 1.1-billion monthly.

That represents a significant increase, but not as significant as the state claims.

Hospitals

The claim: “Our concern about the wellbeing of our people has seen us build many high quality hospital facilities in all of our states.”

Our verdict: This claim, made in a television commercial, appears to be false. Some new hospitals have been constructed, but not “many” in “all” states.

Lagos, for instance, has built six new general hospitals under the tenure of governor Babatunde Fashola. But the Oyo state website makes no reference to new hospitals. A request for clarification from state officials did not receive a response at the time of publication.

Some states have built single new facilities. In Edo, for instance, only one new hospital appears to have been established under the current administration. It opened in December 2014. Another is under construction, but incomplete.

Many states have concentrated almost exclusively on primary health centres, which aim to provide accessible healthcare for all. As an example, the Ogun state governor claimed to have rebuilt and reequipped 50 PHCs in his first 100 days in office and a further 50 thereafter. Africa Check contacted the state health commissioner Dr Ola Soyinka, to see if any hospitals have been built, but did not receive a response.

Quality remains a huge problem. An investigation by Punch newspaper quoted a doctor at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, based in the APC-run Osun state, claiming that they “treat patients with old equipment”. Punch found similar problems in other states – Ogun, Oyo and Kwara – where hospitals are “on the verge of collapse”. It concluded that “decay is now [the] norm.”

A survey carried out by the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association in 2013 labelled health reforms “an abysmal failure” due to underfunding. It cited harassment of doctors, “archaic equipment” and an absence of management boards, among other problems.

Edited by Eleanor Whitehead

This fact-check was done by our partner, Africa Check, a non-partisan organisation which promotes accuracy in public debate and the media. We have its permission to republish. Follow the organisation on Twitter at @AfricaCheck or visit its website at www.africacheck.org


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  • BlackieUmukoro

    APC was built o falsehood right from inception and contiued to be sustained by it. That is their way of life

  • Sanmi Falae

    Perhaps not. But the REAL ISSUE is IF and HOW that will change if APC occupies the centre or becomes the central government. It is with that ‘if’ and ‘how’ that this investigation would have usefully or productively engaged itself. That is the information we need to project and make informed decision or choice.

  • Festuso

    This Africa Check is supposed to be a non-partisan organisation? Is it only APC that is making claims that need to be verified? Jonathan and his PDP cohorts make spurious claims all the time…..where is the Africa Check report on the PDP claims which, for comparison, should have been published at the same time as that of APC to prove your so-called non-partisanship!

  • Oweja

    Does Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital belong to Osun State?

  • Moe

    This is a LOADED article:

    “The claim: “The only states which have invested billions into and ACTIVELY DEVELOPED and BUILT power plants…
    can be found in APC governed states.”

    “Our verdict: This claim, made in a television advert, is false. PDP states HAVE ALSO INVESTED in independent power plants (IPPs).”

    What are you arguing here? You are comparing tomatoes to coconuts.

    While I do not have direct knowledge of what PDP or APC built, I can assure you that any reasonable person will take one look at your article and see that is either deceptive, or the work of someone that has no business writing anything for anyone.

  • tundemash

    Tolu Ogunlesi, Adewale Maja Pearce and Adam Alqali, if you are going to attach your name to an article, atleast make sure you don’t look stup1d. Is OAUTHC a state govt hospital or an FG hospital ? On what basis should we take other claims you have published if you get the ownership of an hospital wrong ?

  • Joseph

    One obvious lie: Ekiti State is now under the PDP. If you are doing a hatchet job, it is an elementary issue for you to get at least some basic facts correct.

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    Here’s APC’s idea of CHANGE:
    Atiku Abubakar (PDP VP for 8 years); Rotimi Amaechi (PDP RVSHA Speaker for 8 years, PDP Governor for 71/2years); Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (PDP Governor for 7 years, PDP Minister for 3 years); Bukola Saraki (PDP Governor for 8 years, PDP Senator for 3 years); Olagunsoye Oyinlola (PDP Governor for 71/2yeras, PDP National Secretary for 13 months), to mention but a few!
    Added to these eminent sybarites and registered PDP rejects is a senile, illiterate, certificate forger, perjurer and coup plotter called Buhari.
    May God not CHANGE Nigeria from bad to worse.
    ANY CHRISTIAN THAT VOTES FOR BUHARI WILL BE REWADED ON JUDGEMENT DAY WITH A SPECIAL SECTION IN THE LAKE OF FIRE FOR ETERNITY AND ONE DAY

    • AGA

      I do not know that i am communicating with a religious bigot! In this era of civilization, you are deceiving and threatening people based on religion sentient. You are a living dead. A pig in human cloth. You have keys to hell and lake of fire which is your permanent home, and so you are inviting people. Whether you like it or not Nigerians are now beyond the politics of religion or ethnicity. They can vote for person who they believe can deliver and who can salvage Nigeria. Buhari/Osinbajo were never in PDPigs and they can never be? They can lead this country comes May 29th and you may go and hug transformer and or join Bode George and co to go on exile. Nigeria cannot remain in that ugly situation forever. CHANGE CHANGE NIGERIA SAI BUHARI …..

    • Kagoro

      Jonathan is a Christian? What church does he attend with his juju priestess wife? If he has a church and a pastor, why has he been engaged in prayer collection from different pastors and even principalities like Obas? What manner of Christian will go kneel before Obas for prayer after being prayed for by his Pastor? The next stop for Jonathan’s prayer collection is Sat Guru Maharaji who will finally hand him over to the demons.

    • Ade

      Look at this drunkard calling himself a Christian.

    • GEJisaDISASTER

      Even God knows that GEJ is worst than a pagan. Go and cure him of his ogbanje marine spirit that has taken over his mentality. Six years of disaster has to end by hook on March 28th. You can live in your land of the blind, in the creek where people worship laziness, mediocrity and ineptitude.

    • What gave you the impetus to sit on the throne of Judgment and decide who goes to heave or hell? You better ask God for forgiveness before God decides that there is a special section with your name on it in that lake of fire for eternity and one day.

  • dudu

    Have you checked the public schools built by the APC in Osun? This report which is masquerading as a non-partisan expose^ is highly biased against APC.

    • Slolo7

      I agree with you. In addition, to suggest that both Buhari and Jonathan are in dead heat with 42% is to manufacture a terrible lie. This can’t be true and Jonathan and his men are aware. What is on ground tells a different story

      • Tolu

        May be you need to be reminded that this is an APC paper!

  • taiwo

    APC is a party built and lies,propaganda and mirage and such qualities means the party won’t last

    • Kaycii

      I totally agree with u Taiwo………..I foresee their break-up after this elections.

  • Kagoro Heights

    Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital is based in Osun State but it is a federal owned institution. Why blame Osun state for its lack of equipment, The Report Is NOT Non-partisan and lacks any depth. You agreed they built roads but you could not ascertain the quality of the roads built! Whose fault if you lack the competence to do your job? It looks like a paid job from the money allegedly shared to media after the election postponement by PDP.
    Even journalists are now willing to sell their country’s future to marauders of national treasury. The voters know better and that assurance leaves hope for Nigeria. No amount of propaganda by this cash and carry media will alter the March of Change for Nigeria

  • abc

    Nonsense. Who writes this trash.

    • Fools who are currently smiling to the bank

  • Godfrey Etokebe

    If PREMIUM TIMES now says that APCs are DECEITFUL PEOPLE, who am I to say OTHERWISE?
    My VOTE is safely in the PDP BANK!!

  • tony10

    Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital in Osun State is a Federal
    Government run hospital and not run by State of Osun . Federal Government
    run institutions have to be domiciled in a state please. So the
    assertion ”based in APC-run Osun State’ is misleading. Most of the
    checks in this report are not based on reliable data but based largely
    on inferences and imaginations. For example, the writers draw conclusions on state of
    hospitals in Ogun State because the commissioner for Health did not get
    back to them. I think serious writers would have visited the hospitals
    to verify the claim rather than calling the the commissioner to confirm. This is a
    lazy report and by extension lazy journalism yet again in Nigeria. Tolu Ogunlesi, Adewale Maja Pearce and Adam Alqali, I think, need to go back to school for proper education in investigative journalism and maybe how to run a propaganda.

  • Bidemi Lukman

    When will such research be carried out on PDP acclaimed projects. This type of findings supposed to be done on both party and published in a single publication to have a clearer view and be able to make an informed decission.

    This is complete hogwash!!!!

    • Ken

      Go and check their earlier report on PDP

  • We Are Not Worried About Buhari’s Age But About The Age Of His Ideas – Governor Akpabio

    • Reginald

      Mr copy-n-paste, is that your line of thinking too? By the way, who is gov Apkabio in the greater scheme of things?

    • Don B

      Akpabio stole this quote. It was Fashola who first said in the the run up to 2011 elections.

    • logmein2nite

      The age of Buhari’s ideas is timeless, and is that honesty is the best policy, and truth may be hard but is a safest and surest foundation on which to construct a nation’s life and enterprise. This is the summary of Buhari’s age old idea. #March4Buhari. Change! In any case, why is Gov. Akpabio suddenly departing from his party PDP, which continues to be worried about Buhari’s age, and are too lowdown to even contemplate let alone discuss this sacredness and timeless “ideas”.

  • Sick Buhari Cancel Kaduna Rally.

    The Presidential candidate of All progressive Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari will not not be strong enough to attend his scheduled rally in Kaduna today. The planned Enugu rally last week was also canceled to allow him to recuperate.

    Buhari who returned to Nigerian last week after nearly 2 weeks in London Hospital, has been on bed rest and was allowed by his foreign doctors to make less stressful political activities, preferably indoors.

    Surprisingly, the aling Buhari’s media Team dubiously released a statement saying that the sick Buhari could not attend the Kaduna rally because the Kaduna state governor, Mukhtar Yero denied them access to the venue. This is quite absurd and ridiculous.

    This is the same pattern of lies that Buhari and APC chunked out to Nigerians throughout his stay in United Kingdom, until Buhari revealed in Chatham House that he has been on Hospital admission and that his doctors have declared him fit to contest the March 28, 2015 Presidential election.

    We wish Buhari, speedy recovery!!!

    • dd

      The man had not made any public campaign since he returned from the UK. Even the so called one million match for Buhari in Lagos he was never there. Is as if they were matching for someone that is dead or someone in prison or someone being protested for that he must be released. It was right? The protest with one million match for sickness to leave him alone.

  • Holy Moses

    APC is a criminal organization – full of Alhajis – signifying nothing.

    • logmein2nite

      I hope all the “Alhajis” fooling themselves in PDP are reading this. Jump and leave the party that is biased against you, and join the party that honors and welcomes you. Change! for Unity of Nigerians.

  • Dunamis

    Let them set d record straight cos a lot of Nigerians hv been brain washed. GEJ’s tenure brought bout a lot of +ve changes in this country. Weda or not we accept it, he’s wrk will speak fr him. GEJ till 2019

    • logmein2nite

      What GEJ achieved in the so called infrastructure is less than 20% of the idea relative to the revenue at his disposal. That is our problem. With that, and other issues of governance, it failed. Change!!

  • brightdestiny

    U need a prove abi? Wait 4 it you will get it after march 28th wen we d victims of mr jonas maladministration sent him parking 4rm d office dem you will see d prove mad man

  • 247don007

    Just to add, Amaechi has not done anything in Rivers State since joining the APC. All he did was under the PDP. So any claim by Amaechi is PDP’s achievement.

    • dd

      All the money now is for APC sponsoring. No new thing done since he left PDP

      • logmein2nite

        If that can deliver us from the debacle that is PDP and give us change in Nigeria in general, and therefore Rivers State in particular, that is a wonderful and even more worthwhile investment.

  • segun

    ABEG THEY’VE TRIED COMPARE TO WHAT PDP GOVERNORS HAVE DONE JUST AKPABIO IS EXCEPTION

  • evi

    Unbelievable! Did PT take permission from their boss,tinubu ,before publishing this analysis? The one that made me laugh the loudest is the one about osun state, was this research done before the news of how osun is owing workers 5 months salary was published? The only quality roads lagos constructed are the ones they put toll gates on.The rest is the more you look…let small rain fall and the whole place will be flooded and the roads will start collapsing, the only area apc has done well is the area of propaganda and spreading falsehood. Apc is an empty vessel making the lowest of noises.

    • APC Change

      Shashshshhh, no noise please, APC Lagos Leaders are in caucus session;
      featuring Alhaji Bola Tinubu, Alhaji Raji Fashola, and, Apprentice Ambode:

  • Sholoko

    LAGOSIANS, YOUR MUMU DON DO, HABA! SMALL BOY GIVE YOU BROOM TO DEY WAVE
    IN THE AFTERNOON LIKE LUNATICS, WHILE THE SMALL BOY ENTER TREASURY DEY CARRY
    GO ALL THE MONEY THERE TO FASHOLA EXTENDED FAMILY. YOUR MUMU DON DO, LAGOSIANS!

    • I go die O!

      …………….And now, Lagosians perish for lack of knowledge

      APC, CHANGE!!! APC, PROGRESS!!, APC, DEMOCRACY FOREVER!!!

      • We can call this one BRTP, i.e: Bus Riding The People.
      Hahahaha! I never go; Lagosians, i beg, i still dey come!

      • konkobelow

        Alhaji Raji Fashola:

        EKO O NI BAJE JU BAYI LO O. AMIN O.

        OLE JIJA APC YI TI POJU NINU IJOBA EKO;

        HA, O POJU. OLORUN OBA NI KI O GBA WA O.

  • stella

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