No, Borno State size is not about the size of the UK plus Sweden or Denmark

By Quadri Yahya


Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo claims Borno State is about the size of the whole of the United Kingdom plus Sweden or Denmark.


The claim is MISLEADING.

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Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo while fielding questions from a group of Harvard Business School students who visited him on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, claimed that Borno State is about the size of the whole of the United Kingdom plus Sweden or Denmark.

The VP made the claim while explaining to the postgraduate students, some of whom are Nigerians, that it is in understanding the size of Nigeria that the international community can better appreciate the enormity and complexity of some of the country’s challenges.

“First, there is a need to appreciate the size of the country, which is crucial to understanding what the issues are.

“For instance, Borno State is about the size of the whole of the United Kingdom plus Sweden or Denmark. So, when it is reported that there is violence in Nigeria, it is probably an incident in one remote area of the country, and many people in Abuja and Lagos may hear about it on social media, such is the size of this country”, Prof. Osinbajo said.

This is according to a statement signed on Sunday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.

The students, who were on an African excursion, interacted with the VP on leadership, faith, spirituality, government policies in education, health, economy, and national image, among others.

The news report was published here and here.


FactCheckElection research shows information contrary to the VP’s claim.

Checks on the official page of the Borno State government revealed that the size of the North Eastern Nigeria State is 61,435 sq km.

Borno State is the state capital of Maiduguri and was created in February 1976. Located in the North Eastern corner of Nigeria, the state occupies the greatest part of the Chad Basin and shares borders with republics of Niger to the North, Chad to the North East and Cameroon to the East.

A 2020 data published by NBS, the National Population Commission estimates in 2019 that the population of Borno is 5.7m people.

On the other hand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (to give its full name) refers to the political union between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The UK is a sovereign state, but the nations that make it up are also countries in their own right.

The World Bank 2021 report puts the land area of the UK to be 241,930 km².

Also, the UK’s Office of National Statistics puts the nation’s population at 67m people.

Sweden, one of the Scandinavian countries located in northern Europe on the Scandinavian Peninsula. Its capital has remained in Stockholm since 1523. It is bordered by the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia, the Kattegat, Skagerrak, and Öresund straits, by Norway in west and north.

The 2021 World Bank data reveals that the current land mass of Sweden is 407,310 km² and has a population of 10.4m people.

Denmark is a Scandinavian country comprising the Jutland Peninsula and numerous islands. It’s linked to nearby Sweden via the Öresund bridge. The capital of this country is Copenhagen.

As of 2021, the World Bank data reveals that the land mass of Denmark is 40,000 km² and its population is 5.8m people.

By and large, the comparison by the Vice President is highly exaggerated as the size of the UK is twice the size of Borno State, not to even add the size of Sweden or Denmark.


FactCheckElection can conclude that the claim by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on size comparison drawn of Borno State and the UK plus Sweden or Denmark is highly exaggerated and incorrect.


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