Nigeria Fuel Strike Suspended

President Goodluck Jonathan

Nigeria’s unions have suspended their strike after the president agreed to cut the cost of petrol following a week of protests.

The strike was called after prices doubled when President Goodluck Jonathan removed fuel subsidies on 1 January 2012.

Earlier on Monday, he announced that he would restore part of this subsidy.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer but it imports almost all of its refined fuel.

Correspondents say many Nigerians see cheap fuel as the only benefit they get from their country’s oil wealth, much of which is pocketed by corrupt officials.

The unions had said that all street protests should be cancelled because of the security situation. However, police in the commercial capital, Lagos, on Monday fired live bullets into the air and tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters.

Army checkpoints have been seen in parts of the city for the first time since the protests began a week ago.

Giving the union response to the president’s announcement, Nigeria Labour Congress chief Abdulwahed Omar told a news conference in the capital, Abuja that “Labour and its allies formally announce the suspension of the strike, mass rallies and protests across the country.”

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