Nigerian workers resist price rises

This video is about Shell in Nigeria.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Friday, 6 January 2012


Nigeria’s main trade unions, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trades Union Congress (TUC), have declared mass backing for an indefinite general strike and mass demonstrations from Monday unless the removal of a fuel subsidy is reversed.

Last Sunday’s withdrawal led to petrol prices more than doubling overnight.

There has already been a furious reaction to the huge increase, with one protester being shot dead by police in Irolin, Kwara state, on Tuesday, as tens of thousands of Nigerians demonstrated in cities across the country.

Also on Tuesday, an angry crowd assaulted a soldier in the main commercial city of Lagos after protesters forced at least three gas stations to stop selling fuel at hiked prices.

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) spokesman Chris Uyot said yesterday: ‘We have the total backing of all Nigerian workers on this strike and mass protest.’

Uyot added that there was no room for dialogue with the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, which has claimed it will spend the money saved by removing the subsidy on improving the country’s erratic electricity supply, as well as health and education.

Prices have increased from 65 naira ($0.40; £0.26) per litre to at least 140 naira in filling stations and from 100 naira to at least 200 on the black market, where many Nigerians are forced to buy their fuel.

A joint unions statement issued on Wednesday said: ‘After exhaustive deliberations and consultations with all sections of the populace, the NLC, TUC and their pro-people allies demand that the presidency immediately reverses fuel prices to 65 naira.’

The statement added a coalition of groups will strike starting next Monday.

It said: ‘From Monday, 9th January 2012, all offices, oil production centres, air and sea ports, fuel stations, markets and banks, among others, will be shut down.’

The statement stressed that the general strike can only be stopped if President Jonathan restores gas prices back to $1.70 per gallon (45 cents per litre), from its new price of at least $3.50 per gallon (94 cents per litre).

Nigerian Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido said the subsidy cost the government about $8bn last year and was ‘unsustainable’, adding that ‘subsidies should be for production and not consumption’.

The IMF has long urged Nigerian governments to remove the subsidy.

Several previous governments have tried to remove the subsidy, but have backed down in the face of widespread public protests and reduced it instead.

See also here. And here.

Africa Feature: Will Fuel Protests Ignite an Opposition Movement in Nigeria? Here.

Royal Dutch Shell has thrown fuel on Britain’s pensions bonfire by unveiling plans to cut off new recruits from its final-salary scheme despite making billions of pounds in profit: here.

Workers at Zambia’s largest copper mine ended a two-day strike today after bosses pledged to grant all temporary staff permanent contracts and consider reducing employees’ 12-hour shifts: here.

7 thoughts on “Nigerian workers resist price rises

  1. Zambian copper miners’ strike

    Miners at the Kansanshi mine, near the copper belt town of Chingola, went on strike on Tuesday, demanding a 100 percent pay increase. The wildcat action took place as management was in negotiations with the union.

    Kansanshi is a subsidiary of the Canadian-owned First Quantum mining company. The mine is Zambia’s largest copper mine, producing nearly a quarter of a million tonnes in 2010. Kansanshi spokesman Godfrey Msiska denounced the strike as illegal.


  2. Riot police attack petrol protests

    NIGERIA: Riot police broke up a mass protest over spiralling petrol prices at Kano’s central Silver Jubilee Square today with tear gas and baton charges, injuring over 300.

    The cost of fuel has more than doubled in the developing country since the government scrapped subsidies on Sunday.

    Demonstrations have erupted across Nigeria this week.

    Police reportedly shot dead a protester in Kwara state on Tuesday.


  3. Pingback: Nigerian general strike starts | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Nigerians keep striking, police keep killing | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Economic crisis, but not for the rich | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: United States AFRICOM wars all over Africa? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Africa hurt by tax dodgers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.