From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari in his Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary address, has accused past leaders from 1999-2015 for destroying the country and yet have the impudence to criticize his administration.
The period in question was when Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan held sway as Presidents.
Buhari while justifying why petrol price pump has to be increased due to fall in revenue, said in the nationwide broadcast on Thursday morning that no government has done as much as his administration has done with scarce resources despite huge spending on security.
The President cited that costs of petrol in some other oil-producing countries especially the country’s neigbours were much higher, adding that the previous cost in Nigeria is no longer sustainable.
Buhari stressed the need for tough decisions as the country must face realities.
He said: “No government in the past did what we are doing with such scarce resources. We have managed to keep things going in spite of the disproportionate spending on security. Those in the previous Governments from 1999 – 2015 who presided over the near destruction of the country have now the impudence to attempt to criticize our efforts.
“In the circumstances, a responsible government must face realities and take tough decisions.
“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.
“Fellow Nigerians, to achieve the great country we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment and encourage ourselves to do that which is right and proper even when no one is watching.
“Fellow Nigerians, let us collectively resolve to continue our journey beyond the sixty years on the clear understanding that as a nation we are greater together than being smaller units of nationalities. By the special grace of God we shall come through any transient challenges.
“It is my sincere hope that by the end of this anniversary on September 30th 2021, we will all be proud of taking this individual and collective self-assessment for the progress of our great Nation.”