Nigeria Fuel Riots : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Monday, 5 June, 2000, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK Fuel riots in south-west Nigeria

Lagos has been badly hit by recent fuel price hikes Riots have broken out across cities in south-western Nigeria over last Thursday's surprise 50% rise in fuel prices.

Students chanting anti-government slogans burned tyres and blocked roads leading into the Yaba district of Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos.

Students and workers also were reported to have gone on the rampage in the south-western cities of Abeokuta and Ibadan, about 55 km (35 miles) and 110 km (70 miles) north of Lagos.

One eyewitness told Reuters news agency: "The police fired teargas to disperse the rioters".

The price of petrol rose from 20 to 30 naira per litre ($0.20-$0.30). Kerosene and diesel prices have also risen by similar margins.

The rioters called on the government to withdraw the increases and restore fuel subsidies.

Strike call

The Nigerian Labour Congress had called for a stay-at-home strike on Thursday to protest against what it said was an outrageous increase.

Earlier this year, President Obasanjo suggested a rise in petrol prices.

An official spokesman said the government could not continue heavily subsidising domestic fuel prices.

Many Nigerians see fuel subsidies as one of the few benefits delivered by the government of Africa's biggest oil producer and said the price rise had pushed up prices of other goods and services.

A journalist in Lagos, Oludare Mayowa, said: "Transport fares and prices of foodstuffs have risen since fuel prices went up last week. It is making life more difficult for the masses".

Nigeria's fuel has been a source of conflict in the country's troubled history.

There have been several riots in the Delta region over the unequal distribution of oil wealth amongst local communities.

-- Rachel Gibson (, June 05, 2000

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