Oil-rich Nigeria is awaiting the results from ongoing negotiations between labour leaders and the Federal Government. Both parties met today in hopes of coming to an agreement on the issue of fuel subsidy and putting an end to the nationwide strike that has so far paralyzed the nation’s economy.
A delegation of 17 labour officials led by President of the Nigeria Labour Congress Comrade Abdulwahed Omar and Trade Union Congress President Mr. Peter Esele met at the Presidential Villa for a meeting with the FG.
The labour team is insisting on “N65 or nothing” for fuel prices in the country, which more than doubled after the much debated fuel subsidy removal was made official on 1 January 2012.
According to the Premium Times, Labour’s demands will also include a request for a comprehensive review of the fuel pricing template used by the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in order to ensure corrupt practices are eliminated from the system.
Previous meetings between labour and the federal government have ended in deadlock, with both parties refusing to compromise their stances.
The government offered a deal of N120 per litre which labour rejected, reiterating the people’s demand of “N65 or nothing”.
Strikes and nationwide protests have brought Africa’s most populous nation to a grinding halt. Should the meeting between government and labour end in another deadlock today, the strike action, which was put on pause this weekend, will continue on Monday.
Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has said the strike, which has gone on for five days now, is costing Africa’s second biggest economy about $600 million a day. It might get worse.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have threatened to join the strike on Sunday, should the government fail to meet the demands of the people.
Shutting down Nigeria’s 2.4 million barrels per day oil production will mean serious financial consequences for the oil-rich nation.
Analysts say the stoppage of oil and gas production is likely to stir a massive spike in commodity prices at the international market , while the resumption of the suspended mass protest would spell unprecedented losses to the economy, Reuters reported.