President Muhammadu Buhari has defended the current price of fuel in the country, stating that a responsible government must face realities.
In his Independence Day Speech, President Buhari stated that while petroleum prices are to be adjusted, the government must take tough decisions.
The president compared the oil price in Nigeria to those of neighbouring nations and oil-producing countries, arguing that “it makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia”.
Many Nigerians have expressed dissatisfaction with the timing of the hike, considering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) had asked the government to reverse the hike in the price of fuel and electricity tariff.
But the president, comparing the price of fuel in Nigeria to that of other countries, said the increase is justifiable.
According to him, it makes no sense for fuel to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia which sells at N168 per litre.
Buhari said: “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, b. Niger, also an oil producing country sells 1 litre at N346. c. 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.”