Fact-checking three Lagos gubernatorial candidates at ‘The Platform’ debateBy Nurudeen Akewushola, Fatimah Quadri, Raji Olatunji, Abisola Olasupo, Hannah Ojo-Ajakaiye, Catherine Adeniyi, Elizabeth Ogunbamowo, Lois Ugbede, Motunrayo Joel and Silas Jonathan on February 5, 2023
THREE gubernatorial candidates in Lagos state on Sunday, 29th of January, 2023 spoke about their plans at a debate organised by The Platform on issues ranging from insecurity, traffic gridlocks in the state, education, infrastructures and health.
The gubernatorial candidates present were Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party (LP), Abdul-Azeez Adediran of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Olufunso Doherty of the African Democratic Congress (ADC).
The debate which took place at the Marriot Hotel in Lagos was moderated by a broadcaster and communications strategist, Dr. Victor Oladokun.
The Nigerian Fact-Checkers Coalition (NFC) which includes The FactCheckHub alongside eleven others examines the veracity of some of the claims made by the candidates at the debate.
Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Lagos state, claimed that in 14 years, Lagos has only been able to construct 16 km of rail.
According to several media reports, President Muhammadu Buhari visited Lagos state to commission 13 kilometres of the first phase of the Lagos Blue Rail Line on January, 24, 2023.
The Lagos light rail network was flagged off by the Bola Tinubu administration in 2003. The elevated train network stretches from Marina to Mile 2.
According to the state government, the rail line is expected to be 27km at its full development and would have the capacity to transport about 500,000 passengers daily.
The claim that Lagos constructed 16km of rail is INCORRECT as several media reports have shown.
Abdul-Azeez Adediran, the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos state, said the state has not implemented the 65 years retirement policy for teachers, signed by the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2020.
In January 2021, Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the bill to increase the retirement age and years of service for teachers to 65 years and 40 years respectively. The bill increased the retirement age of teachers from 60 to 65 years.
The legislation also extends the duration of service for teachers in the country from 35 to 40 years.
Some states of the federation, including Lagos state, are yet to effect the law in the Public Service of their respective states.
Akintoye Hassan, Lagos State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, recently hinted, in an interview with Vanguard, that the state is yet to implement the law.
The claim that Lagos is yet to domesticate the 65 years retirement policy for teachers is CORRECT, according to the Nigeria Union of Teachers.
Abdul-Azeez Adediran, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos state claimed that Lagos state has 5,000 private schools.
According to a report by Premium Times in May 2021, Lagos state commissioner for education Folasade Adefisayo said a quarter of about 20,000 private schools in the state were approved by the state government in Lagos.
The commissioner said the registration of private schools in the state increased by 127 per cent, from 2019 to 2020. In 2019, 729 private schools were registered, while in 2020, 1,660 private schools were registered.
The claim that Lagos state has 5,000 private schools is most correct as confirmed in Premium Times report.
Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party in Lagos state, claimed that Lagos does not have a wetland protection policy.
The Lagos State government launched a policy on wetland conservation, protection and management in 2016. The draft policy recognised 31 wetlands and was reviewed in 2017 at a stakeholder’s meeting.
The claim that Lagos state does not have wetland policy is INCORRECT. Several media reports have shown that the policy exists in the state.
Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Lagos state, claimed that there are 14% of children enrolled in Public primary schools and over 25% enrolled in secondary schools.
According to the 2018-2019 annual school census report provided by LASUBEB education data, the sum of the gross enrollment rate from 2016-2019 for public primary schools is 14%, 25% for junior secondary schools and 16.8% for senior secondary schools.
The claim that 14% of children enrolled in Public primary schools and over 25% enrolled in secondary schools in Lagos is CORRECT, according to Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB).
*This live-check was researched and written by members of the Nigerian Fact-checkers’ Coalition (NFC) and edited by Kemi Busari (Dubawa Nigeria), David Ajikobi (Africa Check Nigeria), Ajibola Amzat and Opeyemi Kehinde (FactCheckHub).