PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has proclaimed that Nigerians should not expect to buy petroleum products at far cheaper prices than in Saudi Arabian. Buhari made the declaration in his national broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary on Thursday.
Insisting that Nigeria has one of the lowest oil prices in the world, President Buhari told Nigerians that “Petroleum prices in Nigeria are to be adjusted,” saying that the current pump price of petrol at N161 per litre remains far cheaper in “comparison with our neighbours.”
Marshalling examples to push home his argument, President Buhari said a litre of petrol sells for N362 in Chad, N346 in Niger, and N326 in Ghana, all neighbouring oil-producing West Africa countries, while he also cited Egypt and Saudi Arabia, where he said petrol sells at N211 and N168 per litre respectively.
“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;” the President asserted.
While stressing that the various administrations since 1999 failed to do the needful and that in the face of scarce resources facing his government, he is compelled to take tough decisions for the good of the country.
“No government in the past did what we are doing with such scarce resources,” Buhari said, adding that “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.”