President Muhammadu Buhari says the price of premium motor spirit (PMS) popularly referred to as petrol, in Nigeria, is fair when compared to other oil producing countries.
Buhari said this on Thursday in his speech marking the 60th independence anniversary of the country.
The federal government in March removed fuel subsidy, consequently pushing up the price of petrol from N148 to over N160.
Many Nigerians have expressed dissatisfaction with the timing of the hike, considering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) had asked the government to reverse the hike in the price of fuel and electricity tariff.
But the president, comparing the price of fuel in Nigeria to that of other countries, said the increase is justifiable.
According to him, it makes no sense for fuel to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia which sells at N168 per litre.
Buhari 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, b. Niger, also an oil producing country sells 1 litre at N346. c. 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.”