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FACT CHECK: Did Tinubu issue Nigeria’s first state bond as Fashola claimed?

FACT CHECK: Did Tinubu issue Nigeria’s first state bond as Fashola claimed?
January 22
18:06 2023

Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, says Bola Tinubu, the presidential flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), issued Nigeria’s first state bond when he was governor of Lagos.

On January 12, the minister was interviewed on YourView, a breakfast show on TV Continental, where he spoke extensively on the ongoing and completed infrastructural development of the present administration.

While answering questions touching on the capability of Tinubu to lead Nigeria as the next president, Fashola who succeeded Tinubu as governor of Lagos state in 2007 said: “Without a doubt in my mind, I have worked with him, and I was his chief of staff for four and half years. So I worked with him on a minimum basis of about 14 hours a day, so I saw him at close quarters.” 

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“You underestimate his resilience and underestimate his intelligence at your own peril. Go and read the tribute I wrote when he turned 60 because he is older,” he said. 

“When people talk about what he did in Lagos, and I think you localise it when you even focus it on Lagos,” Fashola said, before reeling out some of Tinubu’s achievements as former governor of Lagos. 

“Let us remember that the first state bond for infrastructure and development in this country was raised during his (Tinubu’s) term as governor, and it was raised in spite of a federal PDP opposition, saying that it couldn’t be done, but that is the model and pathway that all states now follow to raise funding.”

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A Twitter user named Asiwaju, an online supporter of Tinubu’s presidential agenda, posted a short footage of Fashola’s interview on TVC with the caption: “Fashola’s take on whether Tinubu has the capacity to lead Nigeria. Interesting facts.” 

The video gathered over 176k  views and about 2,000 retweets. 

But how true is the claim that Tinubu issued Nigeria’s first state bond for infrastructure and development when he was the governor of Lagos?

VERIFICATION

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A bond is a fixed-income instrument that represents a loan made by an investor to a borrower. Private entities and state-owned enterprises usually issue bonds to finance huge developmental projects.

TheCable reviewed a report by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a government agency mandated to regulate and develop the Nigerian capital market, and this is what we found.

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The report revealed a list of state bonds, issued in Nigeria, as far back as 1978. 

BONDS ISSUED BY STATES BEFORE 1999

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According to the SEC document titled “states and local government bonds issued (1978 to date)”, Bendel state, now Delta and Edo states, issued a bond of N20 million – to finance the development of a housing estate in 1978 – twenty-one years before Tinubu became the governor of Lagos. 

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Also, a further check revealed that in 1986, Ogun state issued a bond of N15 million for the development of a water project.

In 1987, Lagos, under the military administration of Mike Akhigbe, a navy captain, issued its first bond of N30 million for the development of the Lekki Peninsula area.

BONDS ISSUED BY STATES AFTER 1999

The report by SEC revealed that Edo and Delta states were the first states to issue bonds when Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999.

In the year 2000, Edo and Delta states issued a bond of N1  billion and N3.5 billion respectively. 

Edo’s bond which matured in 2006, was used for the development of a housing estate, while that of Delta was used for development purposes including market, healthcare, water and education.

In 2002, three years after Nigeria returned to civil rule, Lagos alongside Yobe and Ekiti issued bonds for different developmental purposes.

Tinubu’s administration issued its first bond of N15 billion in 2002 to refinance development projects in the state. The bond matured in 2009.

VERDICT

The claim by Fashola that Tinubu issued Nigeria’s first-ever state bond is false. 

Former Bendel state issued the first-ever state bond in 1978.  Also, Delta and Edo states were the first states to issue state bonds in 2000, after Nigeria returned to democratic rule.



This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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