By our reporter| The Presidency on Friday said it will be unfair to use taxes collected from herdsmen and farmers to subsidise petrol which is only used by urban city dwellers and the elite.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, who made the disclosure on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme while reacting to criticisms targeted at the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Independence Day speech that it made no sense for petrol to cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.
Shehu asked, “Is it fair that the taxpayers’ money…how many Nigerians have cars anyway? How many of them run generators in their homes that they need this fuel for?
“Is it fair that the farmer, herders and low-level people in the society that the taxpayer money is taken from them is subsidising the lifestyle of our city urban dwellers? The President is just trying to be as practical on these matters as possible.
“So Saudi Arabia is important in this discussion because what is the technological cost of producing a barrel of oil in Saudi Arabia?
“It’s not more than a quarter of what we spend here and yet you see them charging more than Nigeria. How much comes to Nigeria when you look at our technical cost?”
Many Nigerians on Thursday took President Buhari to task for comparing the pump price of petrol in Nigeria with that of Saudi Arabia, insisting that the President ought to have compared the minimum wage in both countries.