More strikes and unrest in Nigeria after fuel price talks break down
Monday 16 January 2012
A nationwide strike in Nigeria over fuel prices is set to escalate today after two major unions said talks with the government had failed, threatening oil exports which are vital to the West African country's economy.
A statement from the Nigeria Labor Congress and the Trade Union Congress came as confusion remained over whether a threatened shutdown of oil production will occur in Africa's top oil exporter. A major oil workers union had promised to stop production over the weekend in solidarity with the demonstrations, jeopardising the country's production of 2.4 million barrels a day.
During negotiations this weekend between the unions and government, organisers asked the government to restore an estimated $8bn (£5.2bn) a year in fuel subsidies that keep petrol prices low in Africa's most populous nation. The government countered by promising to lower prices slightly.
The strike began on 9 January, paralysing the nation. President Goodluck Jonathan's government abandoned subsidies that kept petrol prices low on 1 January, causing prices to spike from $1.70 per gallon to at least $3.50 per gallon. The costs of food and transportation also largely doubled in a nation where most people live on less than $2 a day.
Anger over losing one of the few benefits average Nigerians see from living in an oil-rich country, as well as disgust over government corruption, led to demonstrations and violence that has killed at least 10 people. Red Cross volunteers have treated more than 600 people injured in protests since the strike began, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Friday.
The unions' ability to enforce a shutdown across the swamps of Nigeria's southern delta to its massive offshore oil fields remains in question. Much of Nigeria's land-based oilfields remain largely automated and an increasing amount of production comes from large offshore oil fields far from the country's coasts.
Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'
Undergraduates will be able to study beatboxing and performance poetry at one of Europe’s leading conservatoires for the first time, after the Guildhall School of Music and Drama revealed plans for a “groundbreaking” degree course.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Watch a man race the Circle line - and win
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
Islamic State: Pope is 'being targeted by Isis', Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See warns
Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton nude pictures exhibition cancelled after artist concedes photos were 'stolen property'
Scotland independence: A nation divided against itself: Brown says SNP are liars. Darling joins in. Salmond fights back
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time: 'That was the lowest I'd ever felt'
Richard III: Two years after his body was found scientists discover how he died
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant We are curr...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...