CLAIM: The University of Chicago is offering fully funded scholarships for the 2022/2023 academic session to interested undergraduates, Masters and PhD students who want to study in the United State.
CONTEXT: A trending WhatsApp post claims that the University of Chicago is offering fully funded scholarships for the 2022/2023 academic session to interested undergraduates, Masters and PhD students who want to study in the United States.
According to the post which provided an application link, eligibility requires that the prospective students are either applying to study in the undergraduates, Masters or PhD categories, should be between the ages of 14 and 40 and should be able to read ad write.
It listed full tuition fees, medical allowance, COVID-19, instant visa approval, permission to work and study, and hostel accommodation as benefits of the programme.
VERIFICATION: To verify the authenticity of the scheme, our partners at Daily Trust clicked the link which led to a phishing site with the requirement to share the news to WhatsApp contacts, a strategy synonymous with scam schemes.
Further analysis of the official websites, clearly indicated the proper method of getting financial aid as it states
“International students are eligible for financial aid only if they apply for funding during the admissions process, and will not be eligible for financial aid after receiving their admissions decision or during their four years in the College.”
CONCLUSION: While it is true that the University of Chicago offers scholarships in form of financial aid, it is instructive to note that the application link contained in the viral WhatsApp post is suspect as it leads to a phishing site.
CLAIM: The former ICT director at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters, Engr Chidi Nwafor, has been demoted by the commission.
CONTEXT: A controversial entertainer and convener of the ‘OurMumuDonDo’ movement, Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa, alias Charly boy or Area Fada, has claimed in a very lengthy post on Facebook that the former Director of ICT at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters, Engr Chidi Nwafor, has been demoted by the commission.
The post partly reads:
“…Instead of promoting the brain behind this electoral innovation, he was demoted and transferred to Enugu as Administrative Secretary just six months to the election. Is Prof Mahmood and INEC ready for a free and fair election in 2023 (sic)? There are already doubts. Please share to create massive awareness about this ugly development.”
VERIFICATION: Checks by Daily Trust revealed that on August 16, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr Festus Okoye, had in a brief statement disclosed the commission’s continuity with the routine deployment of top officials, including two Resident Electoral Cin commissioners (RECs) and eight directorate level staff members.
INEC redeployed 385 employees nationwide to ensure efficient and optimal performance in March. The affected workers were either serving in their states of origin or had worked between 10 and 32 years in the same state.
Perusing the statement issued by Festus Okoye, one could easily find that Engr Chidi was not the only director redeployed, as seven other directors were also affected by the shakeup. Reacting to Nwafor’s redeployment, Prof. Mohammad Kuna, the Special Adviser to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said the exercise was normal. He made this known during a panel discussion at a two-day workshop theme, ‘The role and impact of digital technologies in facilitating peaceful elections in Nigeria’ organised by the National Peace Committee (NPC), headed by a former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd) and The Kukah Centre in Abuja recently.
Contrary to the claim by Charly boy that the former ICT director of INEC, Nwafor, was demoted, Daily Trust can confirm that the claim is false as he is still a director with INEC as categorized by the Nigeria Civil Service Commission. Nwafor was only redeployed from one department to another. In addition, the post of administrative secretary is a directorate-level position.
CLAIM: 10 Nigerian states have larger Gross Domestic Product (GDPs) than some African nations.
CONTEXT: Nigeria Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo while receiving a group of Harvard Business School students at the State House in Abuja, urged the international community not to compare Nigeria to some smaller African countries in terms of economy. His statement read,
“When they talk about the economy, we are often compared with smaller African countries, but there are 10 states in Nigeria that have bigger GDPs than those countries; it is a huge target market.”
VERIFICATION: To verify the claim by the vice president, our partners at Daily Trust checked the GDPs of the 54 African countries, including Nigeria, and compared them with the GDPs of some economically viable states in Nigeria
Available data from World Bank-based size show that Nigeria leads the continent with an accumulated GDP of $514bn. Nigeria is closely followed by South Africa with $420bn, Egypt with N404bn, Algeria with N168bn, Ethiopia with $111bn, and Kenya with $110bn.
The statistics showed that African countries with GDP below $2bn include Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Comoros, Seychelles, Sao Tome and Principe.
Although there is no data on the current GDP of states in Nigeria, a 2017 nominal GDP report cited shows that the GDPs of 22 states stood at about $149bn out of the $375bn GDP of Nigeria.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that the nominal GDP of the 22 states accounted for about 56 per cent of the 45 countries’ entire GDP. The NBS report reads in part:
“In 2017, the nominal GDP for the 22 states (for which data is currently available) stood at N63.8trn or 56 per cent of Nigeria’s nominal GDP in that year.
In comparing the GDP figures of some Nigerian states to some African countries using the last figures obtained from the NBS, it is clear that indeed the GDPs of some states are bigger than those of some countries.
For instance, the report in 2017 indicated that the GDP figures of 22 states was nominal $149bn, which represents $7bn per state.
Consequently, this shows that the GDPs of states like Lagos, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Kano, Imo, Delta, Kaduna and few others as mentioned by NBS are bigger than the GDPs of some countries which have GDPs of less than $5bn.
To further verify the claim our partners spoke to some experts including,
An economist and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Analytics Consulting Ltd, Dr Tope Fasua, confirmed the claim of the vice president, saying some Nigerian states had GDPs larger than some African countries.
Speaking to Daily Trust, he said, “Yes; the GDPs of Lagos, Rivers and a few other states may be larger than those of countries like the Gambia and a handful of other African countries. So it is a fact.
“In 2014, Minister Okonjo Iweala informed us that the FAAC allocation of Akwa Ibom State alone was the entire budget of Liberia. We could say the eight Nigerian states with the highest GDPs fall in this category.”
Similarly, The Chief Economic Strategist at the ECOWAS Commission, Prof Ken Ife, told Daily Trust,
“As of 2021, Nigeria’s GDP at $514b was more than 38 African countries put together. The 10 top Nigerian states with GDP totalling $148.1bn was more than those of 24 African countries, while Lagos with GDP of $29bn was more than nine African countries’ GDP.”
CONCLUSION: Following verifications and experts’ views, Daily Trust concludes that the claim by the vice president is true as there are states in Nigeria that have large GDPs due to their economic viability.
CONTEXT: Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has claimed that there are enough doctors in Nigeria. During a press conference, he made the assertion in Abuja on Tuesday, August 23, 2022. He said,
“…We have heard complaints of doctors who are now leaving the system, but there are actually enough doctors in the system because we are producing up to 2,000 or 3,000 doctors every year in the country and the number leaving is less than 1,000.”
CLAIM 1: Does Nigeria have enough doctors?
VERIFICATION: Checks by our partners at Daily Trust revealed that data from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2003 reported that three doctors were available to attend to 10,000 patients in the country. The recent report by WHO revealed that the ratio has increased to 10,000 people for four (4) doctors, signalling an increase in the doctor-patient ratio. However, WHO recommends 1 (one) doctor per 600 patients as the best doctor-patient ratio. The report captures African countries with better doctors-patient ratios than Nigeria, including Mauritius, Cape Verde, Tunisia, Egypt, etc. It also captures African countries with fewer doctors than Nigeria, including Angola, Kenya, Chad, Mali, etc.
Also, in an address by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) President, Innocent Ujah, during the virtual eighth biennial and scientific conference and annual general meeting of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Kaduna state chapter, the president noted,
“the current doctor to population ratio in the country is about one doctor to between 4,000 and 5,000 population.This falls short of the one doctor to 600 population as recommended by the World Health Organisation. This means that we need about 303,333 medical doctors now, and at least 10,605 new doctors annually to bridge the manpower gap in the health sector,” he said.
Another survey conducted by the Nigeria Health Watch and NOI Polls showed that Nigeria has a deficit of qualified doctors and needs at least 237,000 doctors to ensure the population’s health needs are adequately catered for.
CLAIM 2: Number of doctors leaving Nigeria each year less than 1,000?
VERIFICATION: Estimation points out that no fewer than 2,000 doctors leave Nigeria yearly, with at least 8,983 Nigerian-trained medics currently working with the British National Health Service in the United Kingdom.
The General Medical Council of the United Kingdom website reveals that Nigeria has the third highest number of foreign doctors working in the UK, coming behind only India and Pakistan. It also shows that the number of foreign doctors working in the UK shows that no fewer than 727 medical doctors trained in Nigeria relocated to the United Kingdom alone and licensed between December 2021 and May 2022.
Recently, data from the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, revealed that the total number of doctors that have migrated to the UK in two years is nearly 9,000, while the total in the United States is about 3,895. This means that about 6,447 Nigerian doctors relocated to the UK and the US in each year.
CLAIM 3: Is Nigeria producing up to 2,000 or 3,000 doctors each year?
Verdict: Insufficient Evidence
VERIFICATION: Last year, the president of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Innocent Ujah commented on the brain drain in the health sector hinted that the nation produced between 3,000 and 3,500 doctors annually. He said,
“…This is particularly disturbing because Nigeria only graduates about 3,000 to 3,500 medical doctors across medical schools in the country annually.”
We do not have sufficient evidence to independently confirm this claim as no database keeps track of the number of doctors produced annually in the country.
CLAIM: On August 29, 2022, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a claim with the caption “Isaac Fayose, the younger brother to the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose narrowly escaped death by the whiskers from gunmen attacks along Ife-Ibadan Highway, Gbongan in Osun State.”
FACT: CDD fact-checkers look at asserting the validity of the claim, and reached out to the SP Opalola Yemisi Olawoyin Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Osun state where a press statement which was released on the 30th of August where it was confirmed that no such incident was reported in any part of the State.
The statement further says that “the Command contacted Mr Isaac Fayose to get his perspective on what transpired while he was on transit from Ekiti to Lagos State, He said “at a point after Asejire Dam, towards Ibadan, he saw some travellers make a U-turn for fear of being attacked by presumed Armed Robbers and in his own attempt to make a U-turn, he had a minor accident. He stated further that, he did not see the purported kidnappers, nor was anyone injured nor abducted from the scene.
CONCLUSION: CDD fact-checkers can confirm that the said claim that Isaac Fayose Narrowly escaped death is False
CDD is urging members of the public to verify from certified source before sharing any news report especially, from a random WhatsApp status
A Weekly Highlight on Political, Security, Socio-Political and Health Happenings Across the West African Region – July 29th to August 4th 2022
MALI, BURKINA FASO, SENEGAL, GUINEA
In the week under review, key highlights focus on developments on the case of the 49 Ivorian soldiers, the 2022 legislative elections in Senegal, responses or reactions to the French President’s African tour, the FNDC issues in Guinea, and on the health scenes, the persistent rise in the number of confirmed new cases of COVID across the region. Macron’s African Tour In line with French President, Emmanuel Macron’s African tour to Cameroon, Benin and Guinea Bissau to strengthen bilateral ties between these countries, Macron was received in Benin Republic by President Patrice Talon on July 27. In Benin, the two presidents used the occassion to renew their friendship, as well as discuss the restitution of cultural property and the threats of armed terrorist groups affecting northern Benin. During a press conference in Guinea Bissau, Macron expressed France’s support to the development of the country’s agricultural sector, respect of ECOWAS in regional matters, and solidarity with the region in fighting against terrorism. On Mali, he highlighted that the military junta in government is no longer fighting terrorism which prompted the withdrawal of French forces from Mali and also reiterated ECOWAS responsibility to help the Malian people “build a stable environment” to fight jihadist groups
MALI Political Dynamics Mali sends a message to Macron The remarks made by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron during his African tour, precisely in Guinea Bissau on July 28, 2022, have yielded responses from the Malian Transitional Government. During his press conference, the French Head of State reiterated erroneous accusations by asserting that the Malian authorities maintain relations with a paramilitary group. Another was on the exercise of violence by the Malian authorities targeting a specific ethnic group.
In response, the Transitional Government has condemned with the utmost rigor these “hateful and defamatory” remarks by the French President and called national and international opinion to witness these serious accusations which are likely to arouse ethnic hatred and undermine their living together, cohesion, as well as harmony among Malians. The Malian press release  underlines that “these subversive remarks by the French President vindicate the Transitional Government which, rightly, put an end to defense cooperation with France for its unsatisfactory results in the fight against terrorism in Mali”. 
French President Emmanuel Macron was thus demanded “to definitively abandon his neocolonial, paternalistic and condescending posture” with the understanding that no one can love Mali better than the Malians themselves.
ECOWAS Mediator Praises the Transition Process The ECOWAS Mediator, former Nigerian President Goodluck JONATHAN, was in Bamako from July 20 to 21 to monitor and evaluate the Transition process. During his 48-hour stay, he met with the Malian authorities and members of the local Transition monitoring committee. 
It would be recalled that the noteworthy progress made by the transition government enhanced the recent lifting of economic and financial sanctions by ECOWAS and WAEMU. However, ECOWAS had upheld other sanctions such as Mali’s suspension from decision-making institutions, until a peaceful return to constitutional order was attained.
Mandated to continue exchanges with Malian authorities, the Mediator noted the resumption of economic activities in post-sanction Mali upon his arrival at the airport. He acknowledged the progress made by the authorities and hoped that it will be maintained for the organization of the elections to allow the democratically elected government to take the reins of the country.
An International Arrest Warrant Against Former Prime Minister An international arrest warrant against former leaders of IBK’s regime was issued on July 25, 2022 by the Supreme Court of Mali. The former leaders involved include Boubou Cissé, former Prime Minister and former Minister of Economy and Finance of IBK; Tièman Hubert Coulibaly, former Minister of National Defence; Mamadou Igor Diarra, ex-Minister of Economy and Finance, and Babaly Bah, ex-boss of BMS-SA. The case is related to the purchase of equipment under a public contract known as PARAMOUNT, a part of the implementation of the Orientation and Programming Law for Homeland Security . Official investigation reports established overcharges of 40 billion CFA francs ($72 million), in the case related to the purchase of presidential aircraft and military equipment.
The reason for the international nature of the arrest warrant must be linked to the current residences of the concerned former leaders being outside Mali. Former Malian Prime Minister Boubou Cissé took residence in Côte d’Ivoire since December 2021, after having been accused of wanting to destabilize the transition. Tieman Hubert Coulibaly, former Minister of Defense, took refuge in France after being suspected in the framework of the Military Orientation and Programming Law.
CLAIM: Davido is giving out free 5k airtime and 10GB data in celebration of his uncle’s success in the Osun Governorship election.
VERDICT: FALSE AND MISLEADING
CONTEXT: Since July 18, 2022, aftermath the declaration of Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) winner of Osun governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Social media platforms, particularly WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter have been dominated by a broadcast message, with claim; “Osun Decides 2022 Davido Is Giving Out Free 5k Airtime Voucher And 10GB Data As Way Of Celebrating And Saying Thank you For Voting His Uncle Adeleke As The Winner Of the 2022 Election, Hurry Now And Get Yours”. On the message, links for different network options were providers.
VERIFICATION: CDD fact-checkers looked to verify the claim’s authenticity by assessing the links in the broadcast message to be used by those interested members of the public, expectedly resident of the Osun State. A click on any of the links’ redirects to what looks like a fake Blogspot with comments and appraisals from those who have allegedly gotten the free airtime. However, once a number is inputted, the site begins to process and afterward stops responding.
Further checks and critical analysis of the website through fact-checking tools revealed it to be a phishing website created by scammers to mislead the public into providing personal information. The website was also flagged as unsafe and containing misleading content by the web browser in use.
CONCLUSION: CDD-Fact Checkers can confirm that the claim is false. David Adeleke, AKA Davido, the music icon, whose uncle, Senator Ademola Adeleke was recently elected Governor of Osun state is not giving out Free N5,000 airtime voucher and 10GB of Data as a way of celebrating and saying thank you for voting his uncle, Ademola Adeleke. We can confirm that the message trending on social media is clickbait.
WHY WE FACT CHECKED THIS: We fact-checked this as the intention of phishing websites like this is to make people believe it is legitimate. Today, phishing schemes have gotten more varied, and are potentially more dangerous than before.
Despite apprehension about the possibility of violent disruption of the election, the process has turned out to be peaceful. Like the Ekiti State governorship election before it, the Osun poll witnessed impressive voter enthusiasm. At the conclusion of voting, collation and declaration of results, the CDD-EAC issues this post-election statement on its overall findings on the conduct and outcome of the keenly contested election. This post-election statement provides updates on an earlier Interim Statement on key processes and procedures in the election. CDD-EAC observes that the post-election environment has remained calm, peaceful and free of any agitations following the declaration of the results by the State Collation Officer appointed by INEC. According to the results as declared by the INEC State Collation Officer, Senator Ademola Adeleke of the PDP polled 403,371 votes (51.8%) to defeat his closest challenger, Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the APC, who polled 375,027 votes (48.2%)
CLAIM: Following the conduct of political parties’ primary elections to field candidates for the various positions in the 2023 general elections, there have been several allegations against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), particularly regarding the nomination of Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan and Godswill Akpabio, immediate past Minister of Niger Delta and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
FACT CHECK: Fact Checkers at the CDD contacted the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education of INEC, Barr Festus Okoye, who debunked the allegation of INEC succumbing to pressure to upturn its decision. In his words, These are wild and irresponsible speculations. In a press statement released afterwards, on Saturday, July 9, 2022; the INEC scribe said,
The Commission did not publish the personal particulars of any candidate for the two constituencies at variance with the State reports. Right now, the Commission is funtus officio in the two cases. Aggrieved parties are at liberty to approach the Federal High Court and seek redress as provided in section 285 of the Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and sections 29(5) and 84(14) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
To verify the claim in the statement, Fact checkers visited the Akwa Ibom and Yobe state offices of INEC and can confirm that the list of candidates published by the Commission did not include the names of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawal, and Godswill Akpabio. In addition, Fact-checkers reviewed relevant electoral laws and regulations regarding the substitution of candidates by political parties. While the substitution window has not elapsed, and INEC is maintaining its decision to stand by its monitoring reports of the party primary elections, it will only be left for the court to decide on the APC nomination in these two instances.
CONCLUSION: Evidence suggests that INEC has not succumbed to pressure to publish the name of Ahmed Lawal as alleged by Sahara Reporters. CDD can independently confirm that while INEC has not published these names (Lawal and Akpabio); political parties still have the opportunity to substitute nominated candidates.
CDD advises the general public that efforts to delegitimize the electoral management body, ahead of the 2023 general elections should be avoided. Disinformation and misinformation are already fragmenting the Nigerian state, we must all work together to verify claims before sharing them. Electoral disinformation is harmful to our democratic and governance space.
Claim: The National Population Commission is recruiting staff for the upcoming 2023 census and is asking citizens to register via a link that is being circulated on social media
Context: A viral post on WhatsApp has been circulated asking citizens to register as ad-hoc staff for the upcoming 2023 census. The message in question reads:
“Please if you wish to apply as Ad-hoc Staff for the 2023 Nigerian Population Census by the National population commission, this is the link; https://recruitment.adhoctrial.nationalpopulation.gov.ng/nin
“You MUST have your National Identification Number (NIN). Please share with Family & Friends.”
Verification: Our partners at Daily Trust have ascertained that the message has been forwarded many times, a WhatsApp feature that allows users to see if a message has circulated widely. Subsequently, a contact at the National Population Commission debunked the claim and stated that “The commission had announced recruitment for ad-hoc staff in May for the trial census to conduct that would hold this month, so that’s the one currently being recycled as selections have already been made. It’s not true.” Furthermore, the link no longer works and corroborates the fact that it is no longer active.
Why We Checked This: Citizens across the country have been subject to job related scams and fraud. This is especially more pertinent since it asks for citizens to submit their National Identification Number (NIN) which could lead to identity theft and fraud. It is important that Nigerians remain vigilant when engaging with job adverts and rely on official platforms and sites before posting sensitive information.
Claim: Trending news on social media, and offline claims that there are fears in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday that the PDP may have sold out to the APC.
Some members of the PDP who were not happy with the development said there had been an agreement between Fayemi and Fayose that PDP should step down for APC and that they should jointly work together for APC’s candidate to win the election.
Fact Checked by CDD:
To ascertain the authenticity of this claim, I called His Excellency, Dr Peter Ayodele Fayose. He debunk the story. He said it was only in the dream of the peddler of such unreasonable news.
In his words, “how can a party be sold? At what price? This is just from the nightmare of the peddlers of such unreasonable news.”
He further said that such unfounded news has been going on for sometime now.
The recorded conversation is attached to this report.
CDD can confirm that there is no such event of the PDP selling out to APC and the news should be disregarded.
Ekiti State fact checkers has spotted another trending news, on social media, particularly on WhatsApp and offline that the Mega Rally of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) proposed for today, Thursday, June 16, 2022, at Ekiti Pavilion has been cancelled. This claim has followed the earlier story that the candidate of the SDP in the State has just stepped down; resulting in the cancellation of its Mega Rally.
Fact checked by CDD
CDD contacted reliable sources in the party, among other sources gathered, it is confirmed that the party is set to hold the Rally and there was no decision to cancel the planned Rally. Fact checkers in Ekiti state on June 16, 2022, visited the state pavilion, Ado Ekiti, venue of the planned Mega Rally and observed that preparation for the Rally was ongoing. The venue has been prepared, security operatives and some members are on ground, says a party member. Fact checkers sighted party members in and around the venue. Local actors across the state, confirmed to fact checkers of sighting the party’s Mega Rally buses, moving around with party faithful and heading to Ado Ekiti, where the Mega Rally is billed to hold.
Conclusion: While we can confirm preparations are ongoing at the Ekiti Pavilion for the SDP Mega Rally as of 9:20 am on June 16, 2022, CDD advises peddlers of disinformation to desist for heating up the polity and further charge voters in the state to be focused on June 18, 2022.
As inflation continues on an upward trend, the resultant effect on Nigerians is becoming more worrisome, especially the impact it will have on the purchasing power of Nigerians.
The latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that the inflation rate for May stands at 17.71 per cent, which is the highest figure in 11 months.
According to the NBS, the average price of 1kg of white beans rose on a year-on-year basis by 37.22 per cent from N382.37 in May 2021 to N524.70 in May 2022.
“Also, on a month-on-month basis, this increased by 1.09 per cent from N519.05 in April to N524.70 in May, it stated.
The report showed that the average price of 1kg of a yam tuber increased on a year-on-year basis by 37.87 per cent from N269.98 in May 2021 to N372.23 in May 2022.
NBS stated that on a month-on-month basis, the average price of yam increased by 3.05 per cent in May 2022, compared to what was obtained in April.
Similarly, the average price of 2kg pre-packed wheat flour rose by 34.92 per cent on a year-on-year basis from the value recorded in May 2021 at N785.87 to N1,060.26 in May 2022.
“On a month-on-month basis, it increased from N1,047.74 in April to N1,060.26 in May 2022 indicating a 1.20 per cent rise,’’ it stated.
The report showed that the average price of a bottle of palm oil increased by 42.81 per cent from N593.36 in May 2021 to N847.39 in May 2022.
The report showed that the average price of 1kg of boneless beef rose by 34.11 per cent on a year-on-year basis from N1,513.43 in May 2021 to N 2,029.59 in May 2022.
It added that the average price of one bottle of groundnut oil stood at N1,040.88 in May 2022, showing an increase of 47.99 per cent compared to N703.36 in May 2021.
“On a month-on-month basis, it rose by 3.29 per cent from N 1,007.68 in April 2022,” the NBS stated.
Daily Trust on Sunday reports that many households are already feeling the heat, especially with consumer goods such as groceries, beverages, food items and provisions haven doubled in prices since last year.
Asides household, many Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises operating in the country have also recorded hike in their operating cost while others have to shut down as they lack the financial stamina to continue.
Possible reasons for inflation and why Nigerians should worry
Checks by Daily Trust on Sunday has shown part of up reasons for the inflation can be the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
The war, which is in its fourth month now, spiked supply chain disruptions which had existed at the onset of Covid-19.
Multi-year highs were recorded in the inflation rate across many advanced economies.
The inflation is now affecting the Nigerian economy through high prices of imported consumer and capital goods.
In the same vein, the persistent insecurity situation in the country has made matters worse especially in the north western part of the country as farmers are denied access to their farms while others are killed in the process. This in turn has contributed to rising price levels.
Another reason could be the rising transportation cost as well as currency depreciation.
For instance, during the just concluded primary elections of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party, delegates were alleged to have been bribed with dollars.
The week preceding the election witnessed huge mop up of foreign currency which further weekend the naira to trade about N610 to $1 in the parallel market.
High Cost of Transportation
Just recently, diesel marketers warned that the price of diesel could rise to N1,500/litre citing the increasing global oil price, the effect of the Russian Ukraine war and a general supply gridlock across the world. Diesel prices immediately rose to N800/litre from about N650/litre in May. Diesel prices, which used to be N350/litre has more than doubled in prices in the last few weeks.
The resultant effect on prices of goods and services is now evident as trucks that consume food items and other goods are now charging double for delivery, while wholesalers and retailers transfer the burden to consumers.
In Nigeria, small and medium businesses depend on power to carry out their operations, however the unavailability of power and the over reliance on generating sets have mounted more pressure on inflation.
The national grid has collapsed many times in 2022, leading to consistent darkness as distribution companies cry over insufficient energy allotted to them to distribute.
Also, there are indications that electricity prices are also likely to be increased as another tariff review approaches in the next few months. Tariffs have more than doubled in the last two years for Nigerians even as power supply remains epileptic.
The inflation figures currently seen in the country is a red flag indicating that all is not well with the exchange rate crossed N600/$1 which was the first time in Nigeria’s history that the exchange rate had crossed N600/$1 widening the disparity with the official rate to about N180/$1.
This has also had a devastating effect on Nigerian Stocks which are currently down 5.3 percent month to date and on track to close the month in losses.
Also, over N2 trillion has been pumped into treasury bills despite the negative real return of the interest rates suggesting that investors are flying to the safety of government-backed securities.
The implementation however is not only in Nigeria alone as events across the global economy are also pointing to a possible global economic contraction.
Some analysts are already predicting a global recession that could trigger a major financial crisis, especially in Western economies. Already, the impact of rising inflation in the west has led to record increases in interest rates in the US, EU and UK forcing a market sell-off that has rocked cryptocurrencies and equities.
This implies that it will force companies to increase their prices, even further stifling demand for goods and services as the purchasing power of Nigerians gets decimated. The exchange rate could fall to N700/$1 much sooner than we expect and yet remain scarce to find. As companies struggle amidst waning demand, they could be forced to cut their losses by downsizing, triggering mass unemployment.
What Monetary Authorities Can Do
Financial analysts are already projecting that with the high rate of inflation, Nigeria could be headed for hard economic crisis riddled by the high cost of goods and services and a contracting economic growth rate if it does not take urgent steps to address the situation.
A financial expert, Musa Jauro said “Large Eurobond offering might help soften the challenges even though this will also come at a cost especially if we do not find the revenues to pay for it in future.”
He added that “Nigeria can also run cap in hand to the IMF and World Bank to raise forex, especially via fresh multilateral loans. This will come at a significant cost and conditions, one of which might be to fully deregulate the downstream sector (removing subsidy) and allowing the naira to float. As we have seen with Ghana, this option is great for markets but not a silver bullet. It comes with considerable pain except that it is one that leads to a cure of the disease.”
Prof. Sam Egwu, Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Niger State who also doubles as INEC’s Supervisory Officer for the Ekiti gubernatorial election stated this in an interview on Saturday during the exercise.
He said contrary to claims that the commission is conducting electronic voting, it is rather conducting electronic transmission.
He said, “It is important for Nigerians to know that there is a difference between electronic voting and electronic transmission. Although the Electoral Act provides for electronic voting, what INEC is doing today to improve the process is electronic transmission of results through BVAS.
“The process begins from the polling unit after polls are cast, sorted out, collated and tabulated then the results will be entered into form 60E which is meant for all voters to see and afterwards, the result is snapped by the BVAS and uploaded on the server as recommended by INEC.”
Egwu said there would not be conflicting results from the polling unit, adding that results uploaded by BVAS would be accurate.
He also noted that “the document transmitted is the hard copy of the results that has been photographed.”
Mr. Festus Okoye, INEC’s national commissioner on voter education had said BVAS had been deployed to every polling unit.
“In any polling unit where we have more than 750 registered voters, we are going to deploy an additional BVAS to those polling areas,” the INEC national commissioner had said.
“We have a total of 2,445 polling units that will be used for this election, but we have deployed a total of 3,346 BVAS to Ekiti State. So, we are going to have redundancies in every registration area.
“We have also trained enough registration area technical assistants who can intervene at very short notice if there is any challenge with the BVAS. From the test runs we have done, we are confident that the BVAS will perform optimally and that every person who is genuinely and legally registered to vote in this election will have an opportunity of exercising his/her right,” he added.
BVAS is an electronic device designed to read Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and authenticate voters using the voters’ fingerprints to confirm that they are eligible to vote at a particular polling unit.
BVAS usage entails either scanning the barcode/QR code on the PVC/Voter’s register or entering the last six digits of the Voter Identity Number or typing in the last name of the voter by the Assistant Presiding Officer (APO 1) to verify and authenticate the voter.
A picture has been going viral on different social media platforms espousing that sleeping with cap, scarf or socks can cause brain stroke and the image was attached with the logo of the World Health Organization (WHO) in a bid to show that the international organization endorsed it.
In an article on Wikipedia, “brain stroke” occurs when the blood supply to parts of the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissues from getting oxygen and nutrients which results in the death of some brain cells.
It added that its symptoms can be trouble speaking and understanding what others are saying as well as numbness of the face, arm or paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg.
A report by Mayo Clinic said its type can be of Ischemic stroke or Hemorrhagic stroke, stating that the former can happen when the brain’s blood vessels become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow. “Blocked or narrowed blood vessels are caused by fatty deposits that build up in blood vessels or by blood clots or other debris that travel through the bloodstream, most often from the heart, and lodge in the blood vessels in the brain.” While the later occurs when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures.
On its part, the WHO points out that it is a medical emergency, which requires prompt treatment and advised that early action can reduce brain damage and other complications.
Ways to prevent it
While admitting that it is not possible to prevent strokes entirely as some issues that led to its increase in the body can’t be changed, the Nation Health Service (NHS) advocates for eating a healthy diet because an unhealthy one can increase the possibility of stroke through increase in blood pressure and cholesterol levels but a “low fat, high-fiber diet is usually recommended, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (5 A Day) and wholegrains.”
Similarly, engaging in regular exercise can help lower cholesterol in the body and keep blood pressure healthy.
It also encouraged a stop to smoking as it significantly increases risk of having a stroke because it narrows the arteries and makes blood more likely to clot and not smoking will improve general health and reduce the risk of developing other serious conditions like lung cancer and heart disease.
The service added that the ailment can be treated through the use of administered injections or drugs such as anticoagulants, aspirin and other antiplatelets, thrombolysis – clot buster medicine, thrombectomy, blood pressure medicines, statins and surgery.
In a bid to ascertain the authenticity of the message, if it was indeed endorsed by the World Health Organization, Daily Trust subjected the picture to verification, which revealed that the logo of the WHO was photoshopped into the picture.
Also, while checks by Daily Trust showed that although excessive sugar consumption could cause diabetes, there was no evidence that it could also cause brain damage.
Daily Trust also searched the website of the WHO on the columns of its advisory, publications and releases to see whether such statements have been released to the public at any point in time, but the results turned out empty.
Speaking to Daily Trust on the subject, a medical practitioner at the Federal Medical Centre Keffi, Dr. Oluremi Ajamu, said all the rules stated in the picture cannot be taken as a rule.
“They cannot be taken as a rule as they are just medical tips for healthy living not that they cause any disease in the body, let alone brain stroke. Also, I don’t think number six is true. Most of us here sleep with our hoods and caps on during the rainy season. You don’t want to freeze in your sleep and therefore there is nothing of such,” he said.
A doctor, Dr. Tinam Saidu, simply tagged the assertions as False. “To be sincere, all these are fake gist,” she said.
According to her, “Some of the points have interactions with the brain, but not brain damaging or causing a stroke. These claims are highly non professional,” she added.
Speaking on the ailment, Dr. Saidu added that “You may develop sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in the face, arm or leg. This often affects just one side of the body. A simple way to confirm is if you try to raise both your arms over your head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, you may be having a stroke. Also, one side of your mouth may droop when you try to smile.”
She added that “When one begins to have problems seeing with one or both eyes or suddenly has blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, it could be an early sign of stroke.
She said a sudden or severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness, is also an early indication that one is having a stroke.
The use of a scarf, cap or socks while sleeping has nothing to do with brain stroke, as such, the claim has no medical verification.
The first of two off-cycle governorship elections was conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ekiti State, on June 18, 2022. The election is the seventh in the state since the return of the current democratic dispensation in 1999. Following a 2010 Court of Appeal verdict, which removed then Governor Segun Oni, and declared Dr. Kayode Fayemi the rightful winner of the 2007 governorship election, Ekiti became one of several states holding off-cycle governorship elections. The June 18, 2022 Ekiti State gubernatorial election is the very first to be conducted under the amended Electoral Act, 2022. Following the conclusion of voting, collation and declaration of results in the June 18 2022 Ekiti Governorship election, the Centre for Democracy and Development Electoral Analysis Centre (CDD-EAC) is issuing this post-election statement on its overall findings on the conduct of the poll. This CDD-EAC post-election statement provides further updates, following the earlier releases of two preliminary statements. CDD-EAC observes that following the declaration of the results of the election by the State Collation Officer appointed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the post-election environment has remained calm and peaceful. CDD-EAC calls on all political actors in Ekiti State to maintain the peaceful and calm disposition during the post-election period. As the conclusion of the election leads to the peaceful transfer of political power from the current administration to the incoming one, CDD-EAC further urges the contestants in the election to exhibit the spirit of true sportsmanship, which is one of the hallmarks of true democrats. On the basis of data received from CDD-EAC field observers, CDD confirms that the collation process leading to the declaration of the Governorship election result by INEC, was smooth and free of hitches. The Ekiti State Governorship election result as declared by INEC shows that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Olatunji Oyebanji scored 187,057 votes (53.16%) to defeat his closest challenger, Mr. Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who polled 82,211 (23.37%) of the votes, while Mr. Bisi Kolawole of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came third with 67,457 (19.17%) of the votes.
A post was spotted trending on Twitter and Facebook with the claim that some ballot box snatchers have been apprehended by the Nigerian Army at Moba Ward 1, Unit 4.
According to the claim, two men were arrested in Ise-Ọrùn, Ekiti State for allegedly disrupting elections in one of the wards and snatching ballot boxes. The two men also allegedly shot sporadically at Odo-Moba Ward 1 unit 4 forcing voters to flee before snatching the ballot boxes, after which they were caught by men of the Nigeria Army while attempting to escape. To verify the authenticity of the claim, CDD contacted our observer situated at Moba ward 1, unit 4. He confirmed that no ballot box was snatched at the polling unit, and neither did the army place any arrests. He also added that elections at the polling unit were violence-free, with no records of shooting.
CDD can confirm that the claim is false, as our field observer confirmed that the election at Moba Ward 1, Unit 4 was peaceful, and two men were not arrested by the Nigerian Army for shooting or snatching ballot boxes.
With voting in the June 18, 2022 Ekiti State Governorship election already underway across the 16 Local Government Areas of the State, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) through its Election Analysis Centre (EAC) has been closely observing the election. CDD-EAC deployed 205 trained and accredited observers who are currently collecting data on key processes in the election. CDD-EAC observation of the Ekiti State Governorship election has the objective of ascertaining if the election is free, fair, credible, and reflects the supremacy of the vote of the Ekiti State electorate. CDD-EAC has also set up a fake news hub aimed at tracking and fact-checking misinformation and disinformation capable of undermining the credibility of the election. The following are the CDD-EAC preliminary findings on the conduct of the election based on data received from 168 field observers out of the 205 deployed. General Atmosphere of the Election Reports from CDD field observers indicate that the general atmosphere in which the election is being conducted has been peaceful and voting has largely proceeded smoothly without any reported incidents of violence or disruption of the process. INEC Deployment Data from the areas covered by our observers indicate that 86 percent of INEC officials had arrived at their polling units by 8:30am. Data from CDD-EAC Electronic Observer Platform further showed that 74 percent of INEC poll officials addressed voters before the 8:30am official time of poll opening. CDD-EAC observers also reported a significant increase in the number of female INEC officials, with the data showing that eight polling units had poll officials who were exclusively female. The CDD-EAC data further showed that while four Polling Units had no female at all; all the others had both male and female INEC officials present. In terms of availability of important election materials, CDD-EAC data indicated that in at least 83 percent of polling units critical election materials like ballot papers, BVAS devices, results sheets, ballot boxes and the voter register were available for the conduct of the election. In most of the polling units, CDD-EAC observers did not see or report any form of campaigning; however, in 11.3 percent of polling units campaigns and display of campaign materials was reported. Party Agents Observer data showed all Polling Units reported the presence of at least one party agent. However in Polling Unit 003, Ward 06 in Ekiti West LGA, only one party had an agent. BVAS CDD-EAC data showed that in all 168 Polling Units, BVAS was available; however in polling unit 010 Ward 10, in Irepodun Ifelodun LGA, there was no BVAS at the time when poll was expected to commence. Centre for Democracy and Development West Africa | cddwestafrica.org 2
Fake News CDD-EAC Fake News Hub tracked and fact-checked a number of fake news and misinformation trending on Election Day. A major trending item was the purported withdrawal letter of the SDP candidate Segun Oni, and his endorsement of the PDP candidate, which circulated across social media. This claim was subsequently confirmed to be ‘false’. Regrettably, this might be cited by the party as a reason for any poor performance. Another claim on Twitter was that 9 million voters are expected to vote in the Ekiti 2022 gubernatorial election. This claim was checked by CDD-EAC fact checkers, who returned a verdict of “false” for the claim. CDD checks further showed that there are 988,923 voters registered by INEC for the Ekiti Governorship election. Another fake news was tracked relating to claims that in Ido/Osi soldiers were preventing voters from going to their polling units. CDD-EAC fact checkers verified this claim from field observers and found it to be false. Similarly in Ikole polling unit 8, Ward 10, CDD-EAC fact-checkers tracked a claim that INEC officials were addressing voters in Yoruba only because they can’t speak English. This claim was also checked and found to be false, as it was verified that INEC officials spoke to voters in both English and Yoruba. Conclusion CDD-EAC observers will continue to keep a close watch on the election up till when voting ends, and counting and collation of results begin. Further updates on findings will be provided at the end of voting.
Signed: Professor Adele Jinadu, Chair, CDD-EAC For Media Enquiries, contact: Mr. Damien Ihekoronye Coordinator, Election Analysis Centre (CDD-EAC) (+2348087185684 | firstname.lastname@example.org )
An image making the rounds on social media claims that a voter was caught by a security agent while snapping his ballot papers for Party Agents in Ola Oluwa Grammar School Ado LGA Ekiti.
The observer deployed by CDD to the polling unit observed voters with picture evidence showing their already filled ballot paper to unidentified persons sitting around the supposed private voting centre before casting it in the ballot box.
A viral image on social media claims that voters showed their ballot papers to Party Agents in Ayetoro Oponu, Ido-Osi LGA Ekiti in a bid to get paid for selling their votes.
The observer deployed by CDD to the polling unit observed voters with picture evidence showing their already filled ballot paper to unidentified persons sitting around the supposed private voting centre before casting it in the ballot box.
CDD can confirm through intensive investigation that the said claim is true.