January 16th, 2012
01:25 AM ET

Nigeria cuts fuel prices after national strike

The Nigerian government has slashed fuel prices after a nationwide strike paralyzed the country last week.

President Goodluck Jonathan made the announcement Monday. Minutes later, the federal government ordered all civil servants to report to work, or risk losing their jobs.

It was not immediately clear whether labor unions would continue the strikes. Union leaders had earlier said they would resume protests Monday.

Throngs of protesters have taken to the streets to demand government accountability and a return of fuel subsidies that ended on January 1, a move that doubled gas prices and sent the costs of other goods skyrocketing.

Scattered protests escalated into a national strike that started a week ago, paralyzing the nation of more than 160 million people.

Talks between labor unions and the government ended without a compromise late Sunday night, despite the president's participation.

Last week, a major oil union, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, had threatened to halt production in solidarity with protesters if the two sides didn't reach an agreement.

A move to halt production would reverberate on the global market. Nigeria is the world's eighth-largest crude exporter.

Demonstrations started as an outcry against the removal of fuel subsidies and grew into anger against government corruption. Nigerians consider the subsidies one of the few benefits of living in an oil-producing nation that has little infrastructure, high unemployment and intermittent electricity.

The protests - dubbed "Occupy Nigeria" - have galvanized the continent's most populous nation.

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Filed under: Nigeria • World
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    We need something better than oil.
    I'd like to see the sociological changes that would be blowing in the wind in the people in all these just-oil countries had to do something.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. olalekan

    Why the goverment are treating the youth like this?
    We are the leader of tomorrow,did you want us to leave your country for you?
    So find some thing good to do about this fuel subsidy
    I love you goodluck,but you really disapoint me
    One love naija
    Let make it real
    And don't forget to talk on assu,
    Naija...asuu strike dec 4,fuel subsidy jan 1,NLC strike jan 9, so why naija is all about 419? So let make it real
    I love nigeria,one love one nation

    January 16, 2012 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. Omonija

    What happen to the excess crude oil fund ? what was the govt able to achieve with excess crude oil fund?, Police fund etc the Subsidy Removal may be a mirage

    January 16, 2012 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. EWETOYE IBRAHIM

    The reduction of petroleum pump price to #97 is not good enough since the prices of goods and services will still increase thereby causing inflation. Well... let us accept it like that and move-on.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Femi Steve

    Let's give the president the benefit of doubt and accept his offer of 97 naira per liter of pms. I just hope the country will not disintegrate should the president fail Nigerians. Already, we have more than we can chew in our mouths – Boko Haram, armed robbery etc. May the Lord save us

    January 16, 2012 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joe Presly

    Labour should accept this new price in the interest of peace &progress Government on the other hand should be more transparent & ensure prudent us of funds

    January 16, 2012 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. amaka albert

    Its sad that the nigerian govt will switch to force in a subtle way. The use of the militart he knows will put fear in the minds of the people especially the senior citizens. This proves without a doubt that there is no democracy in nigeria. The nlc and tuc must have been brow beaten to concede to the unilateral decision of the govt to accept N97. They probably feared for the lives of their families and loved ones. Its sad that the president is weak against the strong and very, very strong against the week. His speech today was so military in approach.they keep setting up committes and we never get any results. bunch of thieves.

    January 16, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. GeeFlooo

    NLC JUST SOLD US OUT TO THE GOVERNMENT,THE DEFINITION OF DEMOCRACY IS NOT WORKING WITH HER CITIZENS,ITS A PITY ON WE NIGERIANS.

    January 16, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  9. emmi

    HOW MUCH DID THE GOVERNMENT PAY YOU (NLC) TO DO THESE TO US ?

    January 16, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. emmi

    FROM OBASENJO DOWN TO GOODLUCK,HE NO GO COOL FOR ONAH

    January 16, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. Nigerian Movies

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    April 29, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |