- Title: NIGERIA: Nigeria workers stage fifth day of strikes over fuel subsidy
- Date: 13th January 2012
- Summary: LAGOS, NIGERIA (JANUARY 13, 2012) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CLOSED SHOPS VARIOUS OF CLOSED BANKS PROTESTERS AT GANI FAWEHINMI FREEDOM PARK/PROTESTER HOLDING BANNER READING 'REMOVE CORRUPTION NOT SUBSIDY' SIGN READING 'GANI FAWEHINMI FREEDOM PARK' VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS AT THE PARK VARIOUS OF PLACARD READING: "DAY 5, NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER, 65 NAIRA OR WAR " PROTESTER CARRYING PLACARD READING: "MR. PRESIDENT 3 MILLION NAIRA DAILY FEEDING" VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS AT THE FREEDOM PARK PROTESTERS CHANTING (SOUNDBITE) (English) LINUS ANTHONY, BUSINESSMAN, SAYING: "Nigerians are not happy with it otherwise we will walk all the way from Lagos to Abuja to go and fight them there and their cabals, please we don't want them on the seat, they should all leave us alone." PROTESTERS WALKING TO FREEDOM PARK (SOUNDBITE) (English) LANRE EMMANUEL, ACCOUNTANT SAYING: "Well, l first and foremost I must say that the federal government is not yet ready. How could they be proposing 120 (naira per litre for fuel)? What do we want to do with that? We are saying revert back to 65 naira, no more, no less." PROTESTERS WITH AN EFFIGY OF NIGERIAN PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN
- Embargoed: 28th January 2012 12:00
- Location: Nigeria, Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Business,Finance,Politics,Energy
- Reuters ID: LVACB86OE9CUSWLLU0QW5YGIL6U5
- Story Text: Nigerian workers took to the streets for a fifth day of strikes over the lifting of a popular fuel subsidy on Friday (January 13) but the country's main union said protests will be suspended this weekend to allow talks between the government and unions.
The government scrapped subsidies on petrol imports from the beginning of the year, more than doubling the pump price to around 150 naira ($0.93) a litre from 65 naira, and sparking bitter protests across the country.
Tens of thousands of Nigerians have been demonstrating in cities across Africa's most populous nation since Monday (January 9) after the government said the subsidy was gone for good.
In the heaving commercial hub Lagos, thousands continued protests, many were determined to carry on until government met their original demands.
"Nigerians are not happy with it otherwise we will walk all the way from Lagos to Abuja to go and fight them there and their cabals, please we don't want them on the seat, they should all leave us alone," said 42-year old businessman Linus Anthony
"We are saying revert back to 65 naira, no more, no less," said Lanre Emmanuel, an accountant.
The national relations officer for oil union PENGASSAN said strikes were being suspended, but union leaders said he had misspoken, saying only the protests had been called off.
Gasoline tankers were unable to deliver supplies to the country as the strikes have forced ports to close, trade and shipping sources said on Friday. Tankers are being held outside ports at the expense of charterers, who are paying demurrage costs of around $18,000 a day.
Pressure is mounting on Jonathan to reach a deal. Nigeria's main oil union has threatened to shut down output from Africa's biggest crude producer from Sunday (January 15) if the government does not reinstate the subsidy.
Industry officials doubted unions would be able to stop crude exports completely because much of production is automated and Nigeria has crude stored in reserves, but even a minor outage could have a significant impact on the economy.
The OPEC member's biggest oil union said it is ready to halt oil output if the government does not reinstate the subsidy, piling pressure on Jonathan to reach a compromise.
($1 = 162.0500 Nigerian naira)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None