The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s comparison between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia in his Independence Day address.
In his Independence Day Speech on Thursday October 1, President Buhari compared the oil price in Nigeria to those of neighbouring countries and even Saudi Arabia, arguing that it makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than it is in other oil-producing nations.
Buhari said, “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, the petroleum pump price is N326 per litre.”
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 of the TUC, Quadri Olaleye, has now criticized Buhari for his comments, saying Nigeria should not be compared with other countries as the country had achieved nothing despite six decades of oil exploration.
He alleged that successive governments had looted, laundered and wasted the country’s resources while patronising hospitals outside the country.
Olaleye said, “It is like comparing black and white. It is that bad!
“It is ridiculous to compare Nigeria with Saudi, Dubai, or any other country, not even in Africa. With the natural resources that we have, we could rule the world, but government is not interested. There is no need for this comparison because it looks like the president is defending fraud and the impoverishment of Nigerians.
“Come to think of it, what has Nigeria achieved with all the money made from oil since over six decades of oil exploration in commercial quality? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. All successive leaderships have done is loot, launder and buy properties in foreign land.
“So, if the president is defending the hike (in pump price), what does he want to do with the surplus they will make from the hike? The same old story of providing infrastructure! Our roads are nothing but death traps. Our leaders are not patriotic at all.”
“In Saudi Arabia, roads, water, and to some extent, jobs were not big issues.
“On the other hand, Nigerians contend with estimated bills because power firms had refused to provide meters,” Olaleye added.