President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech on Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary has been flawed for failing to soothe the pains and hardships facing many after COVID-19 outbreak.
During the country’s Diamond anniversary on October 1, Buhari in a broadcast said Nigeria sells petrol at N161 per litre when the same is sold higher in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ghana, Chad, and Republic of Benin.
He said, “We sell petrol at N161 per litre when same is sold at N168/litre in Saudi Arabia, N211/litre in Egypt, N362/litre in Ghana, N362 in Chad, and N346 in Niger Republic among others.
“It does not make sense for petrol to be cheaper in Nigeria than Saudi Arabia.”
Reacting to the speech, some analysts in Inspiration FM 105.9, Uyo on Friday loathed the President’s speech as ‘wrong’ and ‘illogical’ comparing the prices of Premium Motor Spirit in Nigeria to what is obtainable in Saudi Arabia.
“There was no basis for comparison of pump fuel price between the two countries. In terms of salary for the lowest paid civil servant, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), health care services, research grant, standard of and free education and cost of living, both stand poles apart,” the analysts argued.
“Healthcare in Saudi Arabia currently is provided free of charge to all Saudi citizens, but in Nigerians pay for it. In Saudi Arabia, education is free up to tertiary institutions, but in Nigeria, people pay for their children in private schools from nursery to the university.”
“A person working in typically earns around 16,700 SAR per month. Salaries range from 4,230 SAR (lowest average) to 74,600 SAR (highest average, actual maximum salary is higher). This is the average monthly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits.
“In Nigeria, the lowest paid worker earns N30,000 New Minimum Wage. Even then, some states are unable to pay their workers.”
“In Nigeria, there is no research grant for lecturers, while A Saudi lecturer has such. Even in most African countries, lecturers have research grants. A Professor in Rwanda earns N1.5m while in Nigeria, he is struggling with N300,000 and N400,000 monthly salary,” they posited.
Recall that the Kingdom spent more on fossil fuel subsidies (10.6% of GDP) than on health (about 3% of GDP) and education (about 6% of GDP) combined. Saudi Arabia is the second-leading subsidizer of end-use fossil fuel prices, providing 61% of its $48.6 billion in fossil fuel consumption subsidies to oil, 26% to electricity, and 14% to natural gas in 2015.
Research shows that Saudi Arabia’s economic freedom score is 62.4, making its economy the 83rd freest in the 2020 Index. Its overall score has increased by 1.7 points.
Further research shows that GDP in Nigeria is expected to reach 250.00 USD billion by the end of 2020, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. In the long-term, the Nigeria GDP is projected to trend around 360.00 USD billion in 2021 and 450.00 USD billion in 2022, according to our econometric models.