The Presidency has explained why President Muhammadu Buhari compared the fuel price in Saudi Arabia to that of Nigeria during his Independence Day national broadcast on October 1.
The Presidency also said it was unwise and unfair for the government to subsidize the cost of petrol for city dwellers while the farmers and herders who have no cars nor generators are left with nothing.
During his broadcast yesterday, Buhari said fuel will now be sold at N161 per liter in Nigeria, noting that other nations such as Ghana, Niger, Chad Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing countries sell petrol on a higher price than Nigeria.
Asked why the President made the comparison during his appearance on Channels Television on Friday, Garba Shehu, a Senior Special Assistant to the President Media and Publicity, said, “We belong to a global market system. We are buying mostly our refined products from the international market.
“Is it fair that the taxpayers’ money…how many Nigerians have cars anyway? How many of them run generators in their homes that they need this fuel for?
“Is it fair that the farmer, herders and low level people in the society that the taxpayer money is taken from them is subsidising the lifestyle of our city urban dwellers? So these are.. the President is just trying to be as practical on these matters as possible.
“So Saudi Arabia is important in this discussion because, what is the technological cost of producing a barrel of oil in Saudi Arabia?
“It’s not more than a quarter of what we spend here and yet you see them charging more than Nigeria. How much comes to Nigeria when you look at our technical cost? …”