FACT CHECK: Did Nigeria’s exchange rate rise from N200 to N800 under PDP as Tinubu claimed?
CLAIM: The presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday, blamed the opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for watching the Naira drop in value from N200 to N800 to a Dollar, in its 16-year rule, before it lost to the APC in 2015.
Explainer of Tinubu’s speech: The former Lagos State governor made the claim at his presidential campaign rally in Cross River State, on Tuesday. A short clip of the speech of the former Lagos governor is circulating on social media with many commentators saying that he blamed President Muhammadu Buhari for the diminishing value of the naira. However, by listening to the full speech, he clearly was not referring to Buhari but the PDP. Although he did not mention PDP, he started his speech at the rally with an allusion to PDP, and also mentioned its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
His words: “The lies of their 16 years. They cannot even provide electricity to roast boli; they can’t provide electricity to roast corn. They keep on lying. Electricity that is generated from your hydro dams is centralized. They swallowed it. They say privatization; privatization for Atiku pocket; we say that is the end of that. Don’t let them lie to you about change of currency; they never understand what inflation is all about; they never understand what money laundering is all about. They never understand keeping our currency in the dark corners of their rooms, to change and torture. They moved the exchange rate from 200 to 800. If they had repaired it; if they had arrested it, we won’t be where we are today; we will be greater. They don’t know the way; they don’t know how to think. I say follow me!”
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Did the exchange rate rise from N200 to N800 under PDP?
Ripples Nigeria found this to be false. Searches on credible exchange rate websites and media platforms show that the official rate of the Central Bank before Former President Goodluck Jonathan left office in 2015 was N197, while it hovered around N200 to N240 in the parallel market. In fact, a few weeks before he handed over to Buhari, in April 2015, the naira strengthened in the parallel market where it was exchanged below N200.
Tinubu’s claim that the naira diminished in value from N200 to N800 against one dollar under the PDP is false. Also, the claim that he was referring to Buhari is false.
Although Tinubu blamed the PDP, it is under the Buhari administration that the naira tumbled down from less than N200/$1 to N460/$1 based on the CBN rate; while it is currently close to N800 at N759/$1 in the parallel market. The free fall of the naira started in 2016 under Buhari, not under PDP.
By Oluwatobi Odeyinka
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