January 9th, 2012
04:06 AM ET

Nigerian unions to join protests over fuel prices

Nigerian trade unions planned to join angry protests Monday against the government's decision to remove fuel subsidies in the continent's largest oil producer.

The decision on January 1 more than doubled fuel prices in a country where most of the population of about 150 million lives on less than $2 per day.

Labor union leaders have called for national strikes, and are planning a mass shutdown in the country starting Monday.

Citizens of Africa's most populous nation have staged "Occupy Nigeria" mass demonstrations since the decision, with police responding forcefully in some cases.

"I am not an economist, but it is clear common sense that the removal of fuel subsidy, even if it seems to be the easiest solution, is not even an option," said Hadiza Halliru, an Abuja protester.

"The fuel hike, which has doubled and even tripled in some states, would affect not only transportation but the price of food stuff, clothing, any form of direct labor, construction costs. But salaries still remain the same, which means everyone who directly pays bills will be affected, especially the middle class and the poor."

Many Nigerians view the subsidy as the only benefit of living in an oil producing country that has little infrastructure, poor roads, high unemployment and intermittent electric power.

"Though we know that in the long run, removal of subsidy will help the economy, for now it is a high profile lifestyle that is unbearable for most Nigerians and soon the poorer ones will die out," said protester Diane Awunah, who lives in Abuja.

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Filed under: Nigeria • World
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Why on earth would a government hurt its people so economically harshly? People can't live on $2 a day. I did not post the racial comments on the previous blogs. I called and asked CNN to remove those disgusting comments by a sick Blogger too ashamed to use his real name.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. THE ONE AND ONLY DRAKOREX1

    MAYBE IT WAS BECAUSE OF GREED. IT SEEMS TO BE VERY ENTERTANING FOR THE US GOVERMENT THESE DAYS,THATS MY THOUGHT ON THE QUESTION YOU HAVE ASKED.HAVE A NICE NIGHT IM BACK OUT.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. kyle788

    Bill I believe The mr drakorex got it right on this one man.

    January 9, 2012 at 6:20 am | Report abuse | Reply

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