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Viral photo of incomplete skyscraper from Hong Kong, not Nigeria's Ebonyi state

IN SHORT: A photo of an incomplete skyscraper is doing the rounds of Facebook with claims it was taken in Nigeria’s Ebonyi state. But this is false.

A photo posted on Facebook in Nigeria claims to show a skyscraper under construction in Onueke in Ebonyi state. 

It is captioned: “The ongoing construction of skyscraper in Onueke Ebonyi state. Ebonyi is on the rise.”

Comments on some of the posts attribute the building project to the state governor, Francis Nwifuru, describing him as a “visionary” and “good” leader. 

Nigeria’s 2022 multidimensional poverty index report ranks Ebonyi as the 11th poorest out of Nigeria’s 36 states. 

Onueke is a town in south Ebonyi. People living there are mostly farmers who cultivate food crops, such as yam, cassava, cocoyam and rice. 

The same claim appeared on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here

But what does the photo really show? 


No reports of skyscrapers built in Onueke town

A skyscraper is a building ranging from 10 to 20 stories, including high-rise buildings with unusual heights, of more than 40 stories. Such a building would be highly unusual in a farmland area. 

There is no mention of such a building project on the Ebonyi state website, and no media reports of an ongoing skyscraper building project in any part of the state.

Most of the major facilities in the state are located in Abakaliki, the state capital. A project of such magnitude would have made local headlines if it were taking place in Onueke town.  

Structure located in Hong Kong, not Onueke

A Google reverse image search of the photo led us to a 2012 post on a blog called The Travelling Trini. It features the photo in the Facebook post as well as other photos showing different angles of the same building in the article titled “Bamboo Boys”.

One of the photos shows a banner on the building that includes the phrase “Operation Building Bright”. A Google search of the phrase led us to the Hong Kong building department webpage.  

Further searches led to another post on the social media site Pinterest, where the photo was captioned as showing bamboo scaffolding in Hong Kong, a region on the south coast of mainland China.

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