Jan. 16 - Nigeria's government tries to end mass protests and strikes with lower petrol prices after end of petrol subsidy causes uproar. Jessica Gray reports.
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan attempts to calm citizens by slashing prices at the pumps. Many in Nigeria are angry after Jonathan ended a national petrol subsidy, sparking mass protests and strikes. The sudden cut meant prices more than doubled overnight to 150 naira per liter, or just under a U.S. dollar. Few say the government's decision to cap petrol at 97 naira per liter is enough to solve the subsidy issue or the country's struggle with poverty. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED LAGOS RESIDENT SAYING: ''President Jonathan and his team of advisors have lost touch with reality, the idea is not about the amount, the idea is that you are coming against the voice of the Nigerian people, you do not decide that unilaterally, well what brought about 97, why not 94? What breakdown is that? What percentage growth is that? We are no longer stupid and he should not treat us and the rest of the world as if we don't know what is going on, we do." While unions suspended protests to enter new negotiations, some strikes could continue. If talks break down completely, the country's biggest oil union promised to cut production. Despite this, Jonathan's government has refused to back down and is likely to remove more subsidies he says breed waste and corruption. Jessica Gray, Reuters