Journalism in the service of society

Farmers, herders should not be subsidising lifestyles of urban dwellers, says Presidency

THE PRESIDENCY has said it is unfair to use taxes from herdsmen and farmers to subsidise the lifestyles of city dwellers.

President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Shehu Garba said this while featuring on Channel’s Television’s ‘Politics Today’ Friday night.

Garba was reacting to the criticisms that have trailed the president’s Independence Day speech, where Buhari had said it made no sense for petrol to be sold cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.

The president’s analogy had been faulted by many Nigerians saying the same indices used to measure economic growth in Saudi Arabia should not be applied to Nigeria.

But reacting to a question bothering on the president’s speech yesterday, Shehu said, “Is it fair that the taxpayers’ money… how many Nigerians have cars anyway? How many of them run generators in their homes that they need this fuel for?

“Is it fair that the farmers, herders and low-level people in the society that the taxpayer’s money is taken from them are subsidising the lifestyle of our city urban dwellers? The President is just trying to be as practical on these matters as possible. 

“So Saudi Arabia is important in this discussion because what is the technological cost of producing a barrel of oil in Saudi Arabia?

“It’s not more than a quarter of what we spend here and yet you see them charging more than Nigeria.

“How much comes to Nigeria when you look at our technical cost?” said Garba.

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