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‘Saudi Arabia has only 34 million people’ – Lai Mohammed defends Buhari over fuel price comparison with Saudi Arabia



Lai Mohammmed

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed while featuring in a Radio Nigeria current affairs programme, “Radio Link’’ in Abuja on Saturday October 3 defended President Buhari’s comparison of fuel price in Nigeria to Saudi Arabia, in his Independence day speech.

Recall that Buhari in his Independence day speech said “We sell petrol at N161 per litre when same is sold at N168 per litre in Saudi Arabia; N211 per litre in Egypt; N362 per litre in Ghana; N362 per litre in Chad, and N346 per litre in Niger Republic. It does not make sense for petrol to be cheaper in Nigeria than Saudi Arabia.”

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The President’s speech ignited controversy as critics insisted that Saudi Arabia have a higher minimum wage, standard of living and infrastructure than Nigeria.

Defending president Buhari, Lai said;


“Some people have asked why we should compare ourselves to Saudi Arabia with better infrastructure and higher wages. Our answer to that is very simple. Saudi Arabia has 34 million people while Nigeria has 200 million people. Saudi Arabia produces 10 million barrels of crude oil per day, while Nigeria produces at its best, 2.1 million barrel per day. Their population is about one-sixth of Nigeria’s population and they are blessed with more resources. Therefore, they can afford to pay higher wages and build infrastructure.”

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