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Is Cuba the Size of Kwara state?

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Is Cuba the Size of Kwara state?

Is Cuba the Size of Kwara state?

Claims – Former Governor of Osun state claimed that:

  • Cuba makes revenue of $50 billion per annum
  • Cuba has 12 million people, which is the size of Kwara state in Nigeria

Conclusion: Claim 1 is almost true while Claim 2 is false and exaggerated

Evidence: For Claim 1, the World Fact book shows that Cuba’s revenue is $54.52 billion and for Claim 2, the World Factbook and Wikipedia showed that Cuba has an area of 110,860 sq km while Kwara state has an area of 36,825 sq km and a Town Planner gave further insight.


At the valedictory meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) presided over by Vice President Osinbanjo at the State House on May 24, former Osun Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, said that Cuba generates revenue of $50 billion with its 12 million people and Cuba is the size of Kwara state in north central Nigeria.

He said: “I do not need to expatiate on the size of the economy but it is worth to say that if Cuba could have a revenue of $50 billion per annum, Nigeria has no business with the size and revenue it has. How many people are in Cuba?  12 million people, the size of Kwara state of Nigeria.”

This sparked debate on the social media with a lot of impact because the Claimant is an authority who had governed a state and should be known to say things as they are.


Government revenues refers to all receipts the government gets including taxes, custom duties, revenue from state owned enterprises, capital revenues and foreign aid.

Cuba is the largest island of the West Indies group equal the area to Pennyslyvania). The main industries of Cuba include sugar, petroleum, tobacco, construction, nickel, steel, cement, agricultural machinery and pharmaceuticals.

Kwara is a state located within the North Central geopolitical zone of Nigeria with its capital Ilorin. It is bordered by Benin to the west, Niger to the North, Kogi to the east and Ekiti, Osun and Oyo to the South.

 Claim 1

According to Wikipedia, the estimated export of Cuba is $41 billion in exporting goods like sugar, medical products, nickel, tobacco, shell fish, citrus and coffee while its imports is $15.2 billion in goods such as petroleum, food, machinery and equipment and chemicals.

In its public finance, according to a 2017 estimate, the Revenue of Cuba is $54.52 billion while the expenses amount to $64.64 billion.

This makes Claim 1 almost true as the former Governor claimed the revenue of Cuba is $50 billion while data have shown that their revenue is $54 billion.

Claim 2

According to the World Fact book, the total area of Cuba is 110,860 sq km with land mass of 109,820 sq km and Water mass of 1,040 sq km. The population size of Cuba as at July 2018 is 11,116,396

Kwara state, according to Wikipedia, has a total area size of 36,825 sq km with a population of 2,365,353 according to 2005 Nigeria Census.

Our correspondent spoke to a Town Planner in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning in the Federal University of Technology, Minna, TPL Medayese Samuel, who said in analysing a state or comparing two states, there are three tripods to be looked at.

He said the first is in term of Land area, the second is in terms of population while the third is in terms of population density.

Analysing further in comparing Cuba and Kwara state, he said that in terms of land area, Cuba which has a total land area of 109,844 sq km is much larger than Kwara state, which has 36,825 sq km  “even though Cuba is a small country, it is far bigger than Kwara state,” he said.

Medayese further said in terms of population, Cuba as a country has a population of 11.118 million people while Kwara has a population of 2.36 million people.

“If you take the second criteria to measure, you will discover that Cuba has a far larger population than Kwara thus, it is still far bigger than Kwara state.”

On the 3rd criteria of population density which is the number of people per square kilometer of space),  the Town Planner said if this is used as a measurement, then, Kwara can be said to be of a bigger space than Cuba.

Explaining, he said that if the population and total land area of Cuba is divided, it will discover that Cuba have a large space with less number of people while if the same is done in kwara state, it will show that Kwara state has a relatively large population but with a very small space, “so if the measurement is in is in terms of space occupation and special density Kwara is denser and have a larger population density than Cuba.”

However, his verdict is that out of the three criteria, it is only one part that favors Kwara state above Cuba while the other two criteria favor Cuba against Kwara state.

“Meanwhile, the most popular of these criteria is the first two as using population density to measure size is not a very popular method except you are going very advanced.

“This does not preclude tge fact that Cuba is a much larger state than Kwara state.”

This makes Claim 2 to be false as the claim is exaggerated


While Cuba may be a small country, it should not be any way be compared to Kwara state as it is far bigger.

This fact-check was done by a Dubawa Fact-checking Fellow in collaboration with The Nation, the second-most-read newspaper in Nigeria according to a 2011 report by The Advertisers’ Association of Nigeria.

by Justina Asishana

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