False claim circulates online that A.A. Rano has filling station in America

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A video has circulated on social media showing visuals of A. A Rano filling station with a human voice narrating in Hausa Language that A A Rano Nigeria Limited has opened a filling station in the United States of America.

A.A. Rano Nigeria LTD is a Nigerian oil and gas company that markets and distributes petroleum products across the country. It has been in operation since 1994 with its headquarters located in Kano, Nigeria.

READ : Nigerian journalist makes false claims over numbers of U.S. refineries

The 1 minute, 3 seconds video was shared by Northern Magazine on Instagram. It has been shared multiple times also on Facebook as seen here and here, as well as on X (formerly Twitter) here. It has gone viral because the narrator in the footage claimed that he is a prominent journalist named Usman Kabara, who lives in the United States. Kabara doubles as a Hausa content creator and shares content that explores the way of life in the country.

Giving that A. A Rano is an indigenous company owned by Alhaji Auwalu Abdullahi Rano from Kano state, and Usman Kabara is a well-respected journalist who worked with the Hausa service of Voice of America (VoA) and currently a U.S. resident, it is essential to shield more light on the claims in the video and debunk this  viral misinformation spreading especially in Kano and other parts of northern Nigeria.

 

CLAIM 1: The man narrating the story in the footage is Usman Kabara

In his opening remark in the footage, the narrator claimed in Hausa Language that he is Usman Kabara.

“My people, I am Usman Kabara from America, today I’m here at A. A Rano branch filling station in the USA. This showed that A. A Rano is not some petty businessman because even in European countries he has station outlets,” he said.

Screenshot of the viral claim posted on Facebook. INSERT: False verdict.
Screenshot of the viral video posted on Facebook. INSERT: False verdict.

THE FINDINGS

Checks show that this claim is FALSE. When this reporter reached out to Usman Ahmad Kabara, the former VoA reporter through his email address, he debunked the claim.

Following the email conversation, he made a Facebook post in Hausa language disassociating himself from the video and warned members of the public to be wary of people who were imitating his voice to misinform the society.

READ ALSO : Nigerian government charges radio stations to shun fake news

His post, written in Hausa language, reads:

“HATTARA! Jama’a ku yi hattara da masu damfara ko karya da suna na. Wannan bawan Allan karya ya shirga don kuwa ba muryata ba ce a wannan bidiyon. Sannan ina gargadin duk wanda yayi wannan aikin sojan gonar da ya gaggauta bari tum kafın shi ko makamancinsa su shiga hannun hukumar da na bawa bayanin wannan bidiyon. Masoyana ku yi hattara kafın wani ya damfare ku.”

His post, when translated into English by this reporter, reads:

“BE CAREFUL! People, beware of fraudsters or liars in my name. This man lied because it is not my voice in this video. And I am warning everyone who does this work to stop before he falls into the hands of the security agency that I reported him to. My dear, be careful before someone cheats you.”

THE VERDICT

The claim by the narrator in the footage that he is the Usman Kabara is FALSE, as the well-known Usman Ahmad Kabara disassociated himself from the video and its content.

 

CLAIM 2: A. A Rano Nigeria Limited has opened a filling station in the U.S.

Speaking in the footage, the narrator in Hausa language claimed that: “I’m here at A. A Rano branch filling station in the USA. This showed that A. A Rano is not some petty businessman because even in European countries he has station outlets.”

“Here is where they are selling gas if you want it, or you can have fuel here, no doubt A. A Rano owned different fuel stations in our countries like Nigeria and even European countries,” he added.

 

THE FINDINGS

The information available on the A. A Rano website stated that the company has over 200 filling stations across the 36 states in Nigeria, including the FCT with over 600 trucks and 115 retail outlets spread across the country.

A.A Rano together with all its subsidiaries is only incorporated in Nigeria with its headquarters in Kano, Nigeria, checks on its website show.

The WhatsApp chat between this reporter and A. A Rano official on December 20, 2023.
The WhatsApp chat between this reporter and A. A Rano official on December 20, 2023.

This writer contacted the company through a WhatsApp number listed on its website. One A. A. Rano official, in a response to this reporter’s inquiry, debunked the claim saying “It’s not true, we don’t have any retail outlets outside Nigeria.”

Also, a critical look at the video by this reporter shows that the video was recorded in Nigeria, as we can see in the picture below a parked vehicle with an inscription that reads: “Women In Da’awa, Niger state Chapter” while tricycles popularly called Keke Napep passed by the road.

A screenshot from the video showing tricycles and "Women in Da'awah" inscription on a vehicle.
A screenshot from the video showing tricycles and “Women in Da’awah” inscription on a vehicle.

THE VERDICT

The claim that A. A Rano has a filling station in the U.S. is FALSE; as findings revealed that it is an indigenous company which operates in Nigeria only.

 

* This fact-check was written by Ibrahim Ukashatu Wakili, a fellow of the ICIR’s Countering Misinformation and Promoting Media Literacy project, supported by the German Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria.

Ibrahim Ukashatu Wakili
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