How true are Tinubu and Shettima’s claims about the size of the Lagos economy?

By Lanré Olagunju

KAshim Shettima, the vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), recently claimed that Lagos is the third largest economy in Africa.

The former Governor of Borno spoke at the ongoing annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Monday, where he represented Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate.

While making the case for Tinubu and explaining why he thinks his principal stands out from other presidential candidates, Shettima said Lagos is the third largest economy in Africa.

“When Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu became Governor of Lagos State in 1999, there was only one ambulance serving the Lagos State Government. Lagos was earning a sum of N700 million as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR),” he said.

“Now Lagos earns 51 billion naira every month, Lagos is the third largest economy in Africa,” Shettima added.

But this is not the first time that Tinubu’s running mate has requested it.

In a video shared multiple times on Twitter on August 5, Shettima said, “What Nigeria needs right now is the leadership that will drive the process of transformation…Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has a track record of excellence, Lagos is now the third largest economy in the country. Africa.”

The video was first posted by a Twitter account, @Progressive4BAT, a Twitter account known to support Tinubu. The video has since garnered over 130,000 views.

On August 6, the same video was posted on Twitter by Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labor and Employment, who also serves as spokesperson for the APC Presidential Campaign Council, with the caption: “well said, Your Excellency”.

Tinubu once called Lagos ‘the biggest economy in Africa’

In April 2022, Tinubu met with fifteen APC state assembly speakers at a forum hosted by the Lagos House of Assembly.

In a report by the Daily Trust, Tinubu – while marketing himself ahead of the APC presidential primaries – said his administrative prowess as former governor of Lagos had helped the state become the biggest economy of Africa.

“I was brought up to be brave and it worked for me. With zero stipend from FAAC I transformed Lagos State and today the state has become the largest economy in Africa I reserve bragging rights. I want to bring the same as the President of Nigeria,” Tinubu reportedly said.

Did Lagos receive zero allocation from the federation account between 1999 and 2007? Are the APC presidential candidates – Shettima and Tinubu – right about the size of the Lagos economy?

Here’s what we found.

Did Lagos not receive any allocation from the federation account during Tinubu’s tenure?

Obasanjo, Tinubu and Osinbajo played key roles in Lagos allowance saga

On Saturday, March 27, 2004, elections were called by the state government to create 57 LGAs as per the Lagos State Local Government Areas Act No. 5 of 2002.

Ebonyi, Katsina, Nasarawa and Niger states also created new LGAs along with Lagos.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in a letter to Nenadi Usman, Minister of State for Finance during his administration, said: “As the National Assembly has not yet made the necessary consequential arrangements with regard to the one of the newly created local government areas in the country, holding elections or funding one of them from the Federation account would clearly be a violation of the constitution.

“Therefore, no allocations from the Federation account should henceforth be paid to the local government councils of the aforementioned states and to any other states which may fall into this category, until they return to their constituent local government areas. specified in Part I of the First Schedule to the Constitution.

Following the federal government’s directive to suspend funding for LGAs in affected states, other states reverted to the status quo, with the exception of Lagos, which opted for litigation.

Yemi Osinbajo, then Attorney General of Lagos, argued that Obasanjo, under Article 162, paragraphs (4) and (5) of the 1999 constitution, could only exercise executive powers and not legislative power. or judicial to withhold funds owed to the local government. the federation account.

The Supreme Court in its judgment indicated that the president does not have the power to withhold funds for 20 local government areas. He also ordered that the funds be released.

However, the judgment did not recognize the new local government areas created by the Lagos State government.

Despite the judgment, the federal government withheld funds from local governments from April 2004 until the end of the Tinubu and Obasanjo administrations. The funds were then paid to the next Lagos State administration by Umar Musa Yar’Adua, Obasanjo’s successor.

TheCable spoke to Muda Yusuf, a former chief executive of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), to confirm the claim that the state has been granted a “zero allowance”.

“It was a zero allocation to local governments and not the state,” the economist said.

Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) shows that Lagos received statutory allocations of N11.7 billion from the federal government in 2001. Several links to CBN records that would normally reveal the state allocation for other years between 1999 and 2007 when Tinubu was governor. are currently down.

Based on data from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), BudgIT in its Lagos State Data Book published in 2018 revealed that Lagos received a net FAAC allocation of $48.62 billion. naira in 2007, the year Tinubu left office.


At no time during Tinubu’s administration was Lagos denied state allocation from the federation account, only local government funds were suspended from 2004 to 2007. The claim that the State of Lagos had no allowance is false.

Was Lagos IGR in 1999 N700m as Shettima claimed?

Shettima said Lagos earned N700 million as internally generated revenue in 1999 and currently earns N51 billion per month. Here’s what we found.

According to CBN data cited by a review published in the Research Academy of Social Sciences, Lagos recorded an annual IGR of 14.6 billion naira in 1999, a monthly average of 1.2 billion naira.

This is against the N700m quoted by Shettima and the widely publicized N600m in the media.

When Tinubu left office in 2007, the figure rose to N83.02 billion, a monthly average of N6.9 billion. Between 1999 and 2007, the growth rate of the IGR of Lagos stood at 468.63%, showing a considerable increase.

Akinyemi Ashade, former Lagos finance commissioner, revealed in 2018 that the average monthly IGR in the state was N34 billion.

According to the most recent IGR data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the 2021 semi-annual report shows that Lagos generated 267 billion naira in the first six months of 2021, a monthly average of 44.5 billion naira – not 51 billion naira quoted by Shettima.


The IGR of Lagos in 1999 when Tinubu became governor was neither 600 million naira monthly as widely publicized in the media nor 700 million naira as claimed by Shettima. Moreover, the current IGR of Lagos is not 51 billion naira but a monthly average of 44.5 billion naira. Both statements are false.

Is Lagos the third largest economy in Africa?

The cable verified Shettima and Tinubu’s repeated assertion about the size of the Lagos economy. Shettima says it’s the third biggest, and Tinubu was quoted as saying it’s the biggest.

To measure the size of any economy, Muda Yusuf, the former managing director of LCCI, said gross domestic product (GDP) remains one of the most reliable metrics to determine the size of an economy.

“GDP per capita which divides GDP by population is another measure because it reflects the well-being of the people,” he said.

“Lagos is not as wealthy as people say because the responsibilities are so important when you combine the wealth of this entity with the population to be taken care of. And the question is, how much are the people comfortable in the economy?

In 2020, the Lagos Bureau of Statistics (LBS) ranked the wealthiest cities in Africa based on GDP in dollars. Lagos, with a GDP of $76 billion, ranks 4th. Cairo, with a GDP of $212 billion, was Africa’s largest economic city, followed by Johannesburg ($131 billion) and Cape Town ($121 billion).

If Lagos was a country

Despite being smaller than the largest economies in Africa, Lagos State’s GDP is often compared to that of other African countries as if it were a country.

In its 2021 report, the LBS revealed that the GDP of Lagos was 26.59 trillion naira, equivalent to $61.9 billion using the official exchange rate of 429.43 naira and 38 $.4 billion using the current parallel market rate of 692 naira.

TheCable compared Lagos to other African countries using 2021 data.

Using the official exchange rate to convert GDP figures provided by LBS and NBS, Lagos ranked 11th in Africa and 16th according to the parallel market rate.

The GDP figures above are from the World Bank, except for Lagos, which was taken from the LBS.


Lagos is neither the third largest nor the largest economy in Africa as claimed by Tinubu and Shettima. Compared to major cities on the continent, the Lagos State government itself admits that the state is the fourth largest economy in Africa.

Taken from TheCable

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