The Presidency says 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.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Media on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme on Friday.
Shehu was reacting to criticisms targeted at the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who had in his Independence Day speech, said it made no sense for petrol to cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.
Many had lambasted Buhari for the comparison, insisting that the President ought to have compared the minimum wage in Nigeria with that of Saudi Arabia.
Responding, however, Shehu said,
“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?”