Notwithstanding the promise of the Buhari administration to look into the grievances of the Organised Labour who protested the increase in prices of petrol and electricity tariff, president Buhari has given an indication that he is prepared to effect further increase in the price of petrol in the near future.
The president gave this indication in his Independence Day speech in Abuja on Wednesday.
Buhari said its inconceivable that Nigerians should pay less for petrol that Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer.
He said: “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”, he said.
The president beat his chest for the prudence management of the country’s economy and resources and berated previous administrations for having the “impudence to attempt to criticise” his efforts in spite of “presiding over the near destruction of the country”.
But, responding to Buhari’s position in a series of twits titled ‘Buhari’s Cruelty on Independence Day’, Farooq Kperogi, Associate Professor of Journalism and Emerging Media at Kennesaw State University, Georgia, USA, said the president’s Independence Day speech amounted to a “rhetorical violence on Nigerians”.
Kperogi said while it makes no sense for Buhari for oil to be cheaper in Saudi Arabia, it also does not make sense to him (Kperogi) for the minimum wage in Saudi Arabia to be 3,000 riyals (which is equivalent of N305,149.30) while the minimum wage in Nigeria is a miserly N30,000.
“To compare the petrol prices of various countries with Nigeria and ignore the sky-high differences in minimum wages and standard of living is beyond cruel.
“But, as i’ve pointed out before, cruelty is now Buhari’s official governing philosophy. I wish i could say “Happy Independence Day” to Nigerians, but that would be heartless. There is nothing to be happy about in an Independence Day that has been ruined by Buhari’s cruelty”