The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), says it makes no sense for Nigeria to sell petroleum products at prices lower than those sold in neighbouring countries.
He made this known on Thursday morning while delivering a speech on the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary at Aso Villa, Abuja.
Buhari said, “Fellow Nigerians, in addition to public health challenges of working to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, we have suffered a significant drop in our foreign exchange earnings and internal revenues due to 40 per cent drop in oil prices and steep drop in economic activities, leading to a 60 per cent drop in government revenue.
“Our government is grappling with the dual challenge of saving lives and livelihoods in face of drastically reduced resources.
“In this regard, sustaining the level of petroleum prices is no longer possible. The government, since coming into office has recognized the economic argument for adjusting the price of petroleum. But the social argument about the knock-on effect of any adjustment weighed heavily with the government.”
Continuing, the President added, “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 oil at N346 per litre. 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.”