The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the economic assertions in President Muhammadu Buhari’s independence anniversary speech as a “huge slap” on the sensibilities of Nigerians.
Buhari had in a nationwide broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary on Thursday, mentioned Saudi Arabia as one of the countries where fuel price is higher than Nigeria.
But reacting, the PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said President Buhari’s attempt to justify the recent increase of fuel price in Nigeria by comparing it to the N168 per litre cost in Saudi Arabia, was a morbid joke.
The party said the minimum wage in Saudi Arabia is N305,113 (3000 Saudi Riyals), ten times higher than the N30,000 minimum wage which is “largely unimplemented” in Nigeria.
“Is Mr. President not aware that, on the average, a person working in Saudi Arabia earns around 4,230SAR (N430, 267) to 16,700 SAR (N1,698,693) per month?
“Our party charges Mr. President to always check his books before making such offensive comparisons including the price in .Egypt where monthly average earning is around N222, 841 (9,200 EGP) against our N30,000.
“In comparing our costs with other countries such as Ghana, Chad and Niger where purchasing powers of citizens are much more higher, did Mr. President reflect on the cost of house rent, education, healthcare and average dependence on fuel for daily survival by ordinary citizens as obtainable in Nigeria?
“If the flawed assertions as evident in Mr. President’s speech are a direct reflection of how policies are formulated in his administration, then one needs not wonder why our economy is in doldrums”
“Indeed, it is imperative to state that if the Buhari administration had summoned the competence and honesty to continue the programs already laid by previous administrations under our party to revive our refineries and provide infrastructural backbone for our productive sector, fuel price will not be more than N100 per liter, in addition to the gains from by-product from crude oil.
“The PDP therefore urges Mr. President to engender harmony and productivity by allowing for more robust discourse that will lead to affordable prices for fuel and other essential commodities in our country.
“Our party also holds as ludicrous that President Buhari is hyping his ‘better together’ theme when the administration he heads, runs on nepotism, disregard for rule of law, human right abuses, corruption, political intolerance, suppression of free speech and aggression towards dissenting voices.
“Additionally, Mr. President should exert himself on rebuilding our economy by ending his borrowing spree and focusing on our productive capacity instead of his endless lamentation over his failures,” the PDP said.