Mr. Valentine Obienyem, Media Adviser to the Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi, has called on Nigerians to disregard those going about debunking, as incorrect, the data used by Mr. Peter Obi to support his points during the 2018 Vice Presidential Debate.
Mr. Obienyem said that engaging in what he called “statistical fallacy” was a mark of persons without honour and insisted that Mr. Obi did not do so during the debate as “the sources of all the facts/statistics he put forward could easily be verified”.
In a statement he issued on Monday, Obienyem said he did not blame those that accused the former Anambra State Governor of statistical error or those who suspect that he was guilty of that, because the way, according to him, that Obi reeled out these statistics was enough to raise and justify the false allegations of use of wrong statistics.
“To make the matter clear”, Obienyem itemised all the points that Obi made during the debate and gave the sources of Obi’s data, which he challenged those doubting their authenticity to verify.
Part of the release reads: “During the debate, Obi said that Nigeria used over 50% of her revenue to service debt. This can be verified from DMO’s (Debt Management Office) 2017 reports on Nigeria’s debt stock and total debt service. Obi said the country’s total debt stock was N22.7 trillion, about USD80 billion. This can be verified from DMO’s June 2018 report on Nigeria’s debt stock.
“Obi said that Mexico’s GDP was over USD1 trillion and its GDP per capita was over USD8,000. This can be verified from World Bank report on: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD?locations=MX&view=chart). Obi said that South Africa’s stock market capitalisation was USD900 billion. This can be verified from Stock Market Clock (https://www.stockmarketclock.com/exchanges/jse). Obi said that Nigerian bank loans made up 15% of GDP. This can be verified from the World Bank (source: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/FD.AST.PRVT.GD.ZS?locations=NG&view=chart).
“Obi said that Nigeria had the highest number of the poor at 87 million – growing by 6 persons per minute. This can be verified from Brookings Institute publication, “The start of a new poverty narrative” published by Homi Kharas, Kristofer Hamel, and Martin Hofer on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 (source: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2018/06/19/the-start-of-a-new-poverty-narrative/). Obi said that Nigeria’s Human Development Index (HDI) ranking moved from 152 – 157. This can be verified from http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/2018_human_development_statistical_update.pdf ). Obi said that the Misery Index in Nigeria worsened. This can be verified from https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/hankes-annual-misery-index-worlds-saddest-happiest-countries).
Obi said that the FG budgeted N340 billion on health and paid over N1 trillion on PMS subsidy. Education budget was about N400 billion. This can be verified from https://punchng.com/subsidy-on-petrol-hits-n1-4tn-per-year-says-fg/. Obi said that the ease of doing business ranking was currently at 146. This can be verified from http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/doingBusiness/media/Annual-Reports/English/DB2019-report_web-version.pdf).
“Obi said that China created 7.2 million jobs within the first 6 months of 2018. This can be verified from http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201809/17/WS5b9f2aeda31033b4f46566bb.html/). Obi said that Nigeria’s 4,000 MW electricity generation was too low. This can be verified from https://www.nigeriaelectricityhub.com/2018/12/04/electricity-market-generates-4176mw/).”
Obienyem, whose original report contained the sources of all the data Obi used, submitted that apart from the knowledge he gained through life studded with experience, that on leaving office, Obi had the privilege of going to the best schools in the world to upgrade his knowledge of global economics, among other issues that have prepared him more than others vying for the post of the Vice President.