The country’s largest union is stepping up pressure on the government by calling for demonstrations on Monday 28 September to protest the rise in fuel and electricity prices in the country. In the context of economic crisis, the federal government has in fact decided to end its subsidies in these two sectors. The price of petrol at the pump is now indexed to market prices, while electricity prices will double in early September.
The threat of a social movement launched by the Nigerian Labor Congress was at the center of many meetings and discussions this Sunday in Abuja.
The Nigerian Assembly Speaker met with the Nigerian Vice President after speaking with union representatives, who were themselves received that evening at Aso Rock Presidential Palace.
At a press conference on Sunday in Lagos, the Vice President of the Central Trade Union called on all workers in the country to join this protest movement so that “schools, banks and airports” remain closed this Monday.
The rise in petrol and electricity prices since the beginning of September is a blow to the Nigerian people, which is already facing high inflation and mass unemployment.
But the government as actors in the sector believes that this deregulation was inevitable, whether it is to save the treasury dried up by the fall in the barrel or to attract new investors in this sector.
For years, unions have regularly lobbied to preserve these historic subsidies on imports of oil products that are said to cost the Nigerian state more than two billion dollars each year.