The Federal Government has defended the recent hike in the price of petrol.

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It said despite the recent increase in the price of petrol to N162 per litre, the price of the commodity in Nigeria remained among the cheapest in Africa.

It also said notwithstanding the recent hike in electricity tariff, the cost of electricity in Nigeria was still cheaper or compared favourably with that of many countries in Africa.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said these at a press conference in Abuja.

The minister said, “In spite of the recent increase in the price of fuel to N162 per litre, petrol prices in Nigeria remain the lowest in the West/Central African sub-regions.

“Below is a comparative analysis of petrol prices in the sub-regions (naira equivalent per litre):

  • Nigeria -N162 per litre
  • Ghana -N332 per litre
  • Benin -N359 per litre
  • Togo – N300 per litre
  • Niger – N346 per litre
  • Chad -N366 per litre
  • Cameroon -N449 per litre
  • Burkina Faso -N433 per litre
  • Mali -N476 per litre
  • Liberia – N257 per litre
  • Sierra Leone -N281 per litre
  • Guinea -N363 per litre
  • Senegal – N549 per litre.”

“Outside the sub-region, petrol sells for N211 per litre in Egypt and N168 per litre in Saudi Arabia.

“You can now see that even with the removal of subsidy, fuel price in Nigeria remains among the cheapest in Africa.”

Subsidy gulped N10.4trn in 14 years – Minister

He noted that fuel subsidy alone gulped N10.413trn between 2006 and 2019.

He said, “The cost of fuel subsidy is too high and unsustainable. From 2006 to 2019, fuel subsidy gulped 10.413trn. That is an average of N743.8bn per annum.

“According to figures provided by the NNPC, the breakdown of the 14-year subsidy is as follows: in 2006, subsidy was N257bn; in 2007, it was N272bn; 2008 -N631bn; 2009 -N469bn; 2010 -N667bn; 2011 -N2.105trn; 2012 -N1.355tn; 2013 -N1.316tn; 2014 -N1.217tn; 2015 -N654bn; 2016 -figure not available; 2017 -N144.3bn; 2018 -N730.86bn; and 2019 -N595bn.”

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He also said, “Please note that despite the recent service-based tariff review, the cost of electricity in Nigeria is still cheaper or compares favourably with that of many countries in Africa,’ the minister declared.

He listed the cost of power in naira per kilowatts in some African countries to include; Nigeria -49.75

  • Senegal -71.17
  • Guinea -41.36
  • Sierra Leone -106.02
  • Liberia -206.01
  • Niger -59.28
  • Mali -88.23
  • Burkina Faso -85.09 and
  • Togo -79.88.

Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria and the Academic Staff Union of Universities have faulted the President’s assertion that the reintroduction of fuel subsidy would bring back queues at the filling station.