President Muhammadu Buhari gave notice to Nigerians and Labour unions of the critical decisions that his government must make as the country’s economy is in the throes of crisis.
One of them is the adjustment of petroleum prices.
In his independence anniversary broadcast, Buhari dropped the bombshell: “Petroleum prices in Nigeria are to be adjusted”.
He did not indicate if the adjustment will be more than the present N161 pump price for petrol or N180 for diesel at the moment.
But he drew comparisons with other oil producing nations, where petrol sells much higher and wondered why Nigeria must sell lowest and cheapest.
“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”, Buhari said.
“No government in the past did what we are doing with such scarce resources. 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.”.