Nigeria Braces for Nationwide Strikes

Posted January 8th, 2012 at 2:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Nigerian lawmakers are urging the government to reverse its decision to end fuel subsidies, a move that has doubled the price of fuel and led to nationwide strikes over the past week.

During an emergency session Sunday, lawmakers from the House of Representatives voted for a resolution calling for the government to restore the subsidies which cost the country upwards of $8 million.

Gas prices in the country have increased from around 40 cents a liter to 80 cents a liter since the removal of the subsidies on January 1. The cuts have spurred an increase in food prices and transportation costs as well as widespread protests.

Two of the country's major labor unions have announced a new nationwide strike set to begin Monday.

Nigeria is a large producer of crude oil but depends largely on imports for fuel because its refineries are in disrepair after years of mismanagement.