President Muhammadu Buhari has emphasised the needs for government and all Nigerians to take tough decisions for Nigeria to survive.
The President gave the charge in his Independence Day during in a nationwide broadcast on Thursday morning.
The President also noted national resources have become scarcer that previous administrations had had to work with, adding his administration has been doing much with a very lean budget.
He knocked his successors in office , saying they did not do what his regime is doing with scarce resources.
The President specifically called out those who were in charge of the country between 1999 and 2015 when he took over , saying they presided over the near destruction of the country.
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 criticise our efforts .
“ In the circumstances , a responsible government must face realities and take tough decisions.”
On the decision of government to remove petroleum products’ subsidy, the President noted that Nigeria’s pump prices are some of the cheapest in the world comparatively.
Buhari said, “ Fellow Nigerians, in addition to public health challenges of working to contain the spread of the Coronavirus , we have suffered a significant drop in our foreign exchange earnings and internal revenues due to 40 per cent drop in oil prices and steep drop in economic activities, leading to a 60 per cent drop in government revenue .
“ Our government is grappling with the dual challenge of saving lives and livelihoods in face of drastically reduced resources.
“ In this regard , sustaining the level of petroleum prices is no longer possible . The government, since coming into office has recognized the economic argument for adjusting the price of petroleum. But the social argument about the knock- on effect of any adjustment weighed heavily with the government.”
Continuing , the President added, “ Petroleum prices in Nigeria are to be adjusted. We sell now at N 161 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 oil at N 346 per litre . Ghana, another oil- producing country, petroleum pump price is N 326 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.”