Two of Nigeria’s main trade unions, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria and the Nigeria Labor Congress, are considering a call for a joint strike over rising petrol prices. The general secretary of the Lagos-based Nigerian Labor Congress, John Odah, told Voice of America reporter William Eagle that the national executive council of the NLC will announce its decision Wednesday. He says the group wants the government to revert to about 55 naira – or about 41 US cents – per liter of petrol.
In recent weeks, the cost of the commodity has risen at the pump to nearly 70 naira, or about 53 cents. Nearly two-thirds of all Nigerians earn less than one dollar per day. The government says it is improving efficiency by curbing energy subsidies. It says the higher prices reflect the increasing market price for oil.
Nigeria is a net producer of crude, but is not able to refine all it needs. So it buys back refined petrol from foreign marketers for domestic use. Unions say the price increases are too much for the average consumer to absorb.