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Deregulation and Anti-Subsidy Removal Strikes in Nigeria, 2000 -2012

By Okechukwu Eme  et al

Summary

For the last few days, economic activities have been grounded throughout the country by the on-going
strike embarked by labour unions and the civil society groups to protest the removal of fuel subsidy and
the resultant increase in petrol price from N65 to between N141 to N200. The strike action, which has
already gulped several billions of naira, has indeed put to question whether the continued statement in
the federal government and organized labour and civil society organizations talks is not actually costing
the country more revenue than the estimated N1.3 trillion the federal government pays oil marketers
yearly. Instructively, the federal government said it as withdrawing the subsidy because it was draining
the nation’s resources and would collapse the economy in the next two years or there about if retained.
After six days of the strike, the country has already lost over N1.3 trillion than it would have spent
subsidizing fuel for another year. One therefore, begins to wonder the sense in the removal of the
subsidy. For instance, the presidency says the subsidy was removed in order to save cost. But, the ongoing
strike has already resulted in huge revenue loses. Nigeria has a long history of increase in fuel
price; and it dates back to the day’s o General Yakubu Gowon in the early 1970s. The deception of
claiming to remove subsidy came with the supposedly Obasanjo’s democratic era. He increased it
severally before he exited office from N20 to N70. The late Yar’Adua went against the trend and reduced
it to N65. Finally, as at today, Jonathan regime has jerked it up to N141. For many Nigerians, the
government has done it worst by increasing the price of petrol and they have to do all in their power to
resist it. The paper concludes by positing that government is merely taxing the poor to subsidies the life of
the rich.
Deregulation and Anti-Subsidy Removal Strikes in Nigeria, 2000 -2012
 
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About the Authors

Okechukwu Eme
Prof. Adagba Okpaga

Prof. Adagba Okpaga

Ugwu, Sam Chijioke (ph.d)

Ugwu, Sam Chijioke (ph.d)

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