In President Buhari’s 2020 Independence speech, he was quoted as saying that for Nigeria to sell petrol cheaper than saudi arabia does not make sense.
He was quoted:
“we sell petrol at N161 per litre when same is sold at N168 per litre in Saudi Arabia; N211 per litre in Egypt; N362 per litre in Ghana; N362 per litre in Chad, and N346 per litre in Niger Republic.
“It does not make sense for petrol to be cheaper in Nigeria than Saudi Arabia.’’
This national broadcast stirred up alot of reactions from Nigerians who wondered why the federal government would compare Nigeria to a nation with better wages and infrastructure.
However, Minister of Culture, Lai Mohammed has responded to the critics of President Bhuari’s speech saying:
“Some people have said that why should we compare ourselves to Saudi Arabia with better infrastructure and higher wages.
“Our answer to that is very simple. Saudi Arabia has 34 million people while Nigeria has 200 million people.
“Saudi Arabia produces 10 million barrels of crude oil per day, while Nigeria produces at its best, 2.1 million barrel per day.
“Their population is about one-sixth of Nigeria’s population and they are blessed with more resources.
“Therefore, they can afford to pay higher wages and build infrastructure.
“Our argument must be put in proper perspective.
“As we have said, whatever money we make from the subsidy removal, we will invest in infrastructure development”
He further commended the organized labour for suspending its planned strike to protest the fuel price deregulation and the electricity tariff adjustment.
”The moment we lost as much as 60 percent of our earnings and suffered a kind of shock in crude oil prices, we must deregulate.
“Between 2006 and 2019 we paid N10.413 trillion in fuel subsidies; an average of N743.8 billion per annum,’’ he lamented.
“The country right now cannot afford the subsidy regime,’’