President Muhammadu Buhari says it makes no sense for oil price to be cheaper in Nigeria than the oil-rich Saudi Arabia.
Delivering his Independence Day broadcast on Thursday, the president defended the recent hike in fuel pump price.
He compared Nigeria’s current pump price (N161/litre) to that of other countries in Africa.
Buhari noted that some oil-producing countries in Africa and globally, including Chad (N362/litre), Niger (N346/litre), Ghana (N326/litre), Egypt (N211/litre), and Saudi Arabia (N168/litre), pay more than Nigerians to buy fuel.
The president reiterated that no government in the past did what his administration is doing with such scarce resources.
He stated that his administration decided to remove the oil subsidy because it “faced realities and took tough decisions.”
The president argued that sustaining the previous level of petroleum prices is no longer possible.
“No government in the past did what we are doing with such scarce resources. We have managed to keep things going in spite of the disproportionate spending on security. Those in the previous Governments from 1999 – 2015 who presided over the near destruction of the country have now the impudence to attempt to criticize our efforts,” Buhari said.
“In the circumstances, a responsible government must face realities and take tough decisions.
“Petroleum prices in Nigeria are to be adjusted. We sell now at N161 per litre. A comparison with our neighbours will illustrate the point; Chad which is an oil producing country charges N362 per litre; Niger, also an oil producing country sells 1 litre at N346; In Ghana, another oil producing country, petroleum pump price is N326 per litre.
“Further afield, Egypt charges N211 per litre. Saudi Arabia charges N168 per litre. It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.”
He called on Nigerians to commit to doing what is right in order to achieve their desired great country.
“Fellow Nigerians, to achieve the great country we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment and encourage ourselves to do that which is right and proper even when no one is watching,” the president said.
“Fellow Nigerians, let us collectively resolve to continue our journey beyond the sixty years on the clear understanding that as a nation we are greater together than being smaller units of nationalities. By the special grace of God we shall come through any transient challenges.
“It is my sincere hope that by the end of this anniversary on September 30th 2021, we will all be proud of taking this individual and collective self-assessment for the progress of our great Nation.”