Nigerian Unions Call Off Strike

Nigerian Unions have called off a week-long strike that had paralysed the whole country after President Goodluck Jonathan rolled back fuel prices.

The new price, $2.75 per gallon is still considerably higher than the roughly $1.70 per gallon Nigerians paid before the subsidies were removed.

While the unions still remained dissatisfied, they feared that the strikes were being hijacked by “people outside organised labour”.

Unions launched the strike after the government deregulated the downstream petroleum sector and ended fuel subsidies on January 1, which more than doubled petrol prices overnight, angering many who saw the subsidies as one of the few public benefits of the country’s oil wealth.

The government argues that this deregulation would get rid of the graft caused by the subsidies as the country imports 90% of its refined products. The removal will mean that oil companies might be encouraged to refine locally.

It also argues that the removal of subsidies frees up about $8 billion which could be used to fund other projects such as bad roads, little electricity and water issues.

It still remains to be seen how the streets will respond. Also, there is that issue of the Boko Haram

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