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Nigerians clash over fuel subsidy

01-05-2012 08:22 BJT

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The Nigerian Government has removed a subsidy on Petrol - causing prices to rise from around 40 cents a liter to about a dollar - and sparking widespread protest.

A Strange New Year Package. These young Nigerians gathered to peacefully protest the hike in fuel prices but the police prevented them from gaining access to Eagle Square.

A Protester set fire on a major road in commercial capital during a fuel subsidy protest in
Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.

The subsidy will be particularly hard on Nigerians most of who live on less than 2 dollars a day. People are incensed at what they call the insensitivity of the government to the suffering of Nigerians.

Nigeria has been called a generator economy as most of its surviving industries, offices and residences all run on generators. This removal of the fuel subsidy may be the last straw for a crippled economy that has been ravaged by corruption, nepotism and a monumental waste of funds. The group believes that government may have the right to impose the subsidy but it must be responsible to Nigerians.

Dino Melaye from Youth Coalition Against Subsidy Removal said: “The battle by the grace of God to revert back to the status quo is a battle of no retreat no surrender.”

The original idea behind the subsidy removal is to put an end to the $16b government claims it spends on importing petrol annually. The subsidy on imports of premium motor spirit more popularly called

petrol; the lifeblood of the Nigeria Economy was secretly yanked and fuel will now cost about $1 per litre as opposed to 40 cents only hours ago. There had been a town hall meeting and everyone had walked away from the table believing that the government’s would fix the country’s refineries or at least wait till April 2012 to implement the fuel price increase. As can be expected, transport rates have increased by at least 150%.

Protester Noel Onoja said: “Already this afternoon I have paid 150% of what it normally costs to come here.So automatically already the price of everything is increasing.”

Protester Princess Adaeze said: “The cost of transportation is very high now.I paid N500 to get to this place.On a good day I Pay N200.00 to get this place.’’

Reporter: “Now, its been only hours since the fuel subsidy was removed. And there is this crowd here who have been stopped from going into Eagle Square by a combination of the police and the army. Most Nigerians are in the village and the countryside where they went for the Christmas Holidays. As they return, it is feared that by the time what began as a stream may develop into a flood.”

An unidentified protester shouts slogans in front of a fire on a major road in commercial
capital during a fuel subsidy protest in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.

An Unidentified protester burn fire on a major road in commercial capital during a fuel
subsidy protest in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.

An Unidentified protester burn fire on a major road in commercial capital during a fuel
subsidy protest in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.

An unidentified man who claim he was shot by police show a wound on his body on a major road
in commercial capital during a fuel subsidy protest in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.

 

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