Dear President Buhari, Fear God
This is an open letter to the President who has finally come out to justify why Nigerians would keep living on abject inconvenience. In his independence day speech, with many expecting the number one citizen of the country to pass a message of hope and how his leadership would ensure that things get better and everyone has cause to expect a greater Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari rather came all out to justify why the hardship would momentarily continue.
In the President’s words, as a “responsible government”, he has decided to “take tough decisions” which include selling Petrol for N161 per litre. The President didn’t stop there, he went further to announce that the N161 was even low when compared to some neighboring countries. Oga Buhari in his magnanimity further gave an illustration of some of these countries who were selling higher than Nigeria in equivalent to their country’s currency.
According to President Buhari,
“a.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.”
No, he didn’t just say that, well he did.
He went further North also citing examples with Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
“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,” the President disclosed.
While I wouldn’t want to outrightly blame the President for this imbroglio due to his academic and intellectual forbearing, perhaps one cannot spare his advisers who should know better. Even a lay human understands that for comparison to be made between nations in this regard, certain economic indicators have to be out into consideration. Now we are talking about important indicators like the country’s GDP, employment rate, minimum wage, consumer price index and even the price of petrol.
When making his comparison, our President forgot to mention that Niger has an unemployment population of less than 1% of its population while Ghana has at 2019 had 4.33%. Even Chad has an unemployed population of 1.9% of her population, yet Nigeria moderately has 12.5% of her population unemployed and a larger figure underemployed.
The President also conscientiously forgot to mention that while Nigeria is still battling to pay the degrading N30,000 minimum wage, the Saudi Arabia he confident revealed sells petrol for N168 per litre, religiously pays 3000 Saudi Riyal as minimum wage? This is the equivalent of N304,501. Haba!
Mr President and indeed his advisers really need to have the fear of God. Dear President Buhari, fear God.