President Muhammadu Buhari has told Nigerians to not expect to have cheaper oil than other oil-producing nations like Saudi Arabia.
The Buhari-led government has struggled to convince Nigerians to make peace with the recent hike of petrol price to N161 per litre.
Buhari said in his Independence Day speech on Thursday, October 1, 2020 that citizens in other oil-producing nations are paying way more than Nigerians.
To illustrate his point, he said the same litre is sold for N362 in Chad, N346 in Niger, and N326 in Ghana, all neighbouring countries.
"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," he said.
Buhari's remark has been met with shock and outrage from Nigerians on social media.
Many commentators noted that the president was conveniently not mentioning the cost of living in those other countries, especially Saudi Arabia.
The fuel price hike was one of the major triggers for a recently-shelved national strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
The September 28 protest was abandoned after the union reached a deal with the government, with assurances that the government will increase local refining capacity to ultimately reduce the cost of finished products.
In defending his government's action, Buhari said on Thursday that he faces realities and takes tough decisions for the good of the country.
"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," he said.
He called on Nigerians to be united and help his administration achieve its goals.