Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, January 02, 2012

Another test

As if the threat of terrorism wasn't enough, there's another threat to the capacity of the state in Nigeria. Economists, economic development experts, and some politicians have long argued for an end to fuel subsidies in Nigeria. President Jonathan's government has done that. Can it survive the ensuing unhappiness and protest? The political fight will also test the capacity of the unions.

New Year Shocker! Fuel Now to Sell At N141 Per Litre
A litre of petrol jumped by 116% yesterday to N141 after the Federal Government sanctioned the removal of the controversial subsidy on the price of petrol.

The removal of the subsidy was conveyed by the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, PPPRA in a statement issued on New Year day.

The hike immediately provoked strong criticisms from labour, civil society groups and opposition political parties…

No More Petrol Subsidy From Today - PPPRA
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) today announced the full withdrawal of subsidies from Petrol (Premium Motor Spirit).

According to a statement signed by the agency's executive secretary, Reginald Stanley, the removal takes effect from today, January 1, 2012.

It said in part that the agency "...wishes to inform all stakeholders of the commencement of formal removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), in accordance with the powers conferred on the agency by the law establishing it, in compliance with Section 7 of PPPRA Act, 2004.

"By this announcement, the downstream sub-sector of the petroleum industry is hereby deregulated for PMS. Service providers in the sector are now to procure products and sell same in accordance with the indicative benchmark price to be published fortnightly and posted on the PPPRA website…

UK news agency REUTERS on Thursday claimed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was behind the push by governments across West Africa to remove petrol subsidies. Ghana officially ended hers on Thursday December 29, 2011. Other countries which the report said were under similar pressure are Cameroon, Guinea and Chad…

Labour Threatens Mass Protests
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have declared a showdown with the Federal Government through mass protests and strikes until the price of petrol is reversed to N65 per litre.

The leadership of the labour movements in a joint statement issued yesterday directed their state councils to take steps to resist any price above N65 per litre of PMS, and await a date for the commencement of general strikes and mass protests across the country…

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