Nigerian fuel subsidy: Strike suspended

The strike was called after prices doubled when President Goodluck Jonathan removed a fuel subsidy on 1 January.

Earlier on Monday, he announced that he would restore part of this subsidy.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer but it imports almost all of its refined fuel.

Correspondents say many Nigerians see cheap fuel as the only benefit they get from their country’s oil wealth, much of which is pocketed by corrupt officials.

The unions said they acted to save lives, after receiving information that the security forces had been ordered to use all means to end protests. The decision came as the police and army maintained a heavy presence on the streets of most cities.

Police in the commercial capital, Lagos, fired live bullets into the air and tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters on Monday.

Army checkpoints were seen in parts of the city for the first time since the protests began a week ago.

Strike ‘success’

The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress told journalists in Nigeria’s capital Abuja that they applauded the government’s recent promise to explore corruption in the country’s oil sector. They described the six-day strike as “a success”.

“We are sure that no government or institution will take Nigerians for granted again,” said Abdulwaheed Omar, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress.

The president of Nigeria’s Trade Union Congress, Peter Esele, told the BBC’s Focus on Africa that the unions would be prepared to consider getting rid of the subsidy “down the road,” but that first they wanted to see action from the government on the country’s “huge” infrastructure and energy problems.

Posted by on Jan 18 2012. Filed under Breaking News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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