According to Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, the price of fuel was increased because Nigeria is broke and the government needs money.
The Nigerian government, on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, increased the price of fuel from N86 to N145 per litre.
“In order to increase and stabilise the supply of the product, any Nigerian entity is now free to import the product, subject to existing quality specifications and other guidelines issued by the regulatory agencies,” Kachikwu said after a meeting with oil industry stakeholders.
“Pursuant to this, PPPRA has informed me that it will be announcing a new price band effective today, 11th May, 2016 and that the new price for petrol will not be above N145 per litre.
“We expect that this new policy will lead to improved supply and competition and eventually drive down pump prices, as we have experienced with diesel. In addition, this will also lead to increased product availability and encourage investments in refineries and other parts of the downstream sector,” he added.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo also said that the government had no option but to increase the price of fuel for the same reasons stated above.
“We realised that we were left with only one option. This was to allow independent marketers and any Nigerian entity to source their own foreign exchange and import fuel. We expect that foreign exchange will be sourced at an average of about N285 to the dollar, (current interbank rate). They would then be restricted to selling at a price between N135 and N145 per litre,” Osinbajo said via a statement released on Friday, May 13.
However, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed has given a totally different explanation for the government’s decision to increase the price of fuel.
“The current problem is not really about subsidy removal. It is about the fact that Nigeria is broke. Pure and simple,” the minister said on May 18.
“It is like when somebody who has been earning N100,000 a month is faced with a situation where his employer says, henceforth you will be earning N10,000 a month.
“He would need to make some very painful decisions and some very painful adjustments. That is the situation with Nigeria today,” he added.
However, it was the same Lai Mohammed that recently requested a loan of N13 million from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to fund a trip to China.
How can Nigeria be broke when the Senate just bought 36 SUVs at N36.5 million each? How can Nigeria be broke when the Senate President’s cars are worth N330m? How can Nigeria be broke when people are still holding lavish parties every weekend and raining down money for people to step on?
The problem with Nigeria, and Nigerians, has never been a scarcity of funds, but rather an absence of priorities and an ingrained culture of waste.
Until Nigeria starts to spend money on the most important and necessary things, there will never be enough to go round.