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FACT CHECK: Is Saudi Arabia’s population less than 10 percent of Nigeria’s?



CLAIM: Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state, in a recent interview, claimed that the population of Saudi Arabia is not up to ten per cent of Nigeria’s.



Governor Sule made the claim while appearing on Channels Televion’s Politics Today, on Tuesday. The governor was on the programme to discuss the discovery and prospective exploration of oil in his state.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday inaugurated the first oil drilling of the Ebenyi-A Exploration Well located in the Middle Benue Trough in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. Governor Sule who expressed excitement, assured that residents of the state would benefit largely from the exploration. However, when queried on the extent to which residents would benefit, and whether all residents of the state would be employed, he argued that not even in Saudi Arabia (the third largest oil-producing companies) are all citizens employed. He noted that Saudi Arabia produces about seven million barrels of oil per day, and has less than 10 per cent of Nigeria’s population.

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“Just because you have an oil discovery doesn’t mean that everybody in the state will be employed. It doesn’t work that way; not even in Saudi Arabia where they’re producing about 7 million barrels per day. Not everybody is employed and they don’t have 10 per cent of the population of Nigeria,” he said.


Reliable data from the World Bank and the World Population Review put the population of Saudi Arabia between 34 to 36 million people in 2022, while the same data put Nigeria’s population between 200 to 220 million people. Ten percent of 200 million is 20 million. All reliable data put Saudi’s population above 30 million, and Nigeria’s population is nowhere near 300 million yet.


Governor Sule’s claim that Saudi’s population is less than 10 per cent of Nigeria’s is false.

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