The number one bestselling author and former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, Pastor Reno Omokri, said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that crude oil sold for $100 from 1999 to 2014 when past administrations of former Presidents Goodluck Jonathan, Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Musa Yar’Adua held sway is inaccurate.
Pastor Omokri, in a statement citing World Bank records, argued that the average crude oil sold withing the time cited by the president is not $100 but $61.7 per barrel.
Recall that president Buhari, during an interview with Arise Television, said that “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.”
The president had said that past administrations failed to provide infrastructure for the country despite selling crude oil at $100 per barrel.
But Omokri, in the statement on Friday, claimed that the summations of the president was inacurrate.
According to him:
“President Muhammadu Buhari, in a bid to defend his administration, has again spread misinformation regarding the records of crude oil prices under past administrations.
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.
Buhari had said that: “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,” Buhari said.
Meanwhile, checks have 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.
Fact checks, including those by independent bodies, using relevant data, reveal the following verification:
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.
For instance, by POLITICS NIGERIA’s calculation, the oil price averaged between 1999 and 2014 is $61.7 per barrel.
I also understand that Buhari’s spokespersons, Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina, who were reached for clarifications on the president’s figures 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 inacurrate.”