CLAIM: Niger state former governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu recently claimed that at the end of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration in 2015, a bag of foreign rice was sold between N7,000 and N8,000.
Aliyu, one of the party’s chieftains in Niger state, made the claim during the state governorship campaign Flag-off of the PDP in Bida. “You have missed a lot because, during our time, a bag of rice was sold between N7,000 and N8,000. Today, how much is it?”
PDP tenure in office
Olusegun Obasanjo was elected under the PDP in 1999 and ruled for eight years. Late Umaru Musa Ya’adua was elected as president in 2007 with Goodluck Jonathan as vice president.
When Yar’adua died in 2010, Jonathan took over until the end of Yar’Adua’s tenure in 2011 when he contested and became president. Jonathan contested for the second term but lost to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015. Put together, Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, and Jonathan ruled under the PDP for 16 years (1999 to 2015).
During this period, Dr. Aliyu was a two-term governor of Niger state from 2007 to 2015.
Price of a bag of rice between 2014 and 2015
Although the former governor did not categorically say if he was referring to the price of foreign or local rice, we can confirm that he was making reference to foreign rice.
This is because as of 2015, over 70 percent of rice in Nigerian markets was foreign or imported before the APC administration banned rice importation that same year.
A search through the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that there was no selected Food Prices Watch released in 2015. The closest food prices watch began in February 2017.
However, a Google search revealed that in November 2014, according to the commodity index made available by Novus Agro Nigeria Ltd in Lagos on Friday, November 21st, the price of a 50kg bag of royal stallion and other imported rice was N10,000.
Novus Agros Nigeria Limited is a firm that monitors the prices of commodities in 50 major markets in 25 states of the federation.
Another survey carried out by the same firm from January 2 to 8 showed that the same bag of 50 kg bag of imported rice sold for N8,100.
In 2013, Silifat Akinsete, the then President of the Rice Sellers Association at Daleko Market in Lagos, while predicting an increase in the price of rice in the second quarter of 2013, disclosed that the price of a bag of rice had increased from N8,000 to N12,000.
VERDICT: The claim by Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu is false. An extensive search has shown that rice was not sold at N7,000 anytime from 2013 to 2015. At the time the PDP left power in 2015, rice was sold above N8,000. In fact, as of January 2015, a bag of rice sold for N8,100 while in November 2014, a bag of foreign rice sold for N10,000.
This fact-check was conducted by Niger Fact-Check Hub. The Fact-check is necessary to ensure that the electorates in the states are given actual facts by politicians during the campaigning period.