Fact Check: Did Inflation Stay at Single Digit Under PDP as Claimed by Saraki?

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Politicians, especially candidates in the coming 2023 general election in Nigeria, have been wooing voters since the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), opened the campaign window in September 2022. 

At the national level, especially among the presidential candidates, the campaign has become intense, with candidates and their teams making numerous claims to prove themselves as the right choice. 

On 16 January 2023, a member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council, Bukola Saraki, was on Arise TV, and during the interview, he claimed that the inflation rate today is around 16% whereas, under the PDP it remained in single digit.

The claim was made between 4:18 minutes to 4:25 minutes in the video

Saraki Arise TV

Background

The People's Democratic Party (PDP) is presently the main opposition political party in Nigeria. It was the ruling party from May 1999 to May 2015. 

The party is also participating in the 2023 presidential election as it has always done since 1999. 

Former vice president Atiku Abubakar (1999-2003) is the flag bearer of the party this time, just as in the 2019 general election. 

Bukola Saraki was a two-term governor of Kwara State and president of the Nigerian Senate from 2015 to 2019. 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) is currently the ruling party, with Muhammadu Buhari as the president. 

Verification

Data from the Central bank of Nigeria, (CBN) show the inflation rates in Nigeria from 1999 to 2022. 

Year 

Inflation rate (%)

1999

6.6

2000

6.9

2001

18.9

2002

12.9

2003

23.8

2004

10

2005

11.6

2006

8.5

2007

6.6

2008

15.1

2009

13.9

2010

11.8

2011

10.3

2012

12

2013

8

2014

8

2015

9.55

2016

18.55

2017

15.37

2018

11.44

2019

11.98

2020

15.75

2021

15.63

2022

21.34

Table showing the inflation rate in Nigeria from 1999 to 2022.

Chart showing inflation rate 1999 - 2022

The above table and chart show the inflation rates in Nigeria only stayed at single digit in 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2014 and 2015. For the other years, it was in double digits.

The data also shows that the years when single digit was recorded fall well under the PDP era except for 2015 which was completed by the APC.

It is also clear from the data that apart from 2015 which was the first year of the APC, the ruling party did not record a single digit for the years under review. 

However, we cannot deduce if Saraki was referring to where his party left it when they handed over power in 2015.  The inflation rate in 2014 was 8 percent and 9.55 percent in 2015 which simply means that the PDP handed over a single-digit inflation regime to the APC. 

Nonetheless, it is obvious that the APC has not been able to keep the rate at a single digit beyond 2015 when it took power from the PDP. But the highest inflation rate of 23.8% in the country’s history in 2003 was under a PDP government.

Conclusion

Our finding shows that the inflation rate under the 16-year PDP rule was not at single digit only and the current inflation rate (as of January 2023) is not 16 percent as claimed by Bukola Saraki.  The rate currently stands at 21.34 percent as of December 2022 in contrast to 23.8 percent in 2003.  

Claim: The inflation rate today is around 16 percent whereas, under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration, it remained in the single digits. 

Verdict: FALSE

Under the PDP’s administration, the nation’s inflation rate fluctuated between single and double digits, and presently it is at 21.34 percent to the CBN December 2022 report. 


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