Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has stoutly defended the recent rise in fuel price in the country, while hinting at further increase.
In a speech to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary on October, the Nigerian president compared prices of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) to those of neighbouring countries, as well as the world’s highest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia.
Castigating previous governments from 1999-2015 who “who presided over the near destruction of the country,” Buhari claimed no government in the past has achieved what his government has despite scarce resources.
“We have managed to keep things going in spite of the disproportionate spending on security,” he continued.
In the face of these scarce resources, Buhari opined that “a responsible government must face realities and take tough decisions.”
The recent moves to completely remove subsidy on petroleum products is one way the Nigerian government intends to save money in the face of dwindling revenues occasioned by falling crude oil prices. Crude oil is the country’s major revenue earner.
“Petroleum prices in Nigeria are to be adjusted,” Buhari said in his address.
“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 one litre at N346.
“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,” Buhari said.
By Demola Ojo