Negotiations to end Nigeria strike continue

Nigeria’s top labour leaders gathered in the capital Abuja on Saturday to discuss accepting a government offer on fuel prices and ending a six-day-old general strike.

    A fleet of empty petroleum
    tankers in Lagos are parked in
    compliance with the strike

    The government has proposed lowering the price of fuel from its new level of 40 Naira per litre (31 cents/27 Euro cents).

     

    The offer has not yet been made public.

     

    Sources close to the negotiations said President Olusegun Obasanjo was insisting that fuel price settle on 35 Naira per litre.

     

    Labour leaders, however, were arguing for 30 Naira.

     

    “We will definitely decide today. It is a one-issue agenda,” said John Odah, the general secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

     

    NLC President Adams Oshiomhole launched the strike last Monday to protest against the 54% rise in fuel prices.

     

    He had led negotiations with Obasanjo during the week.

     

    But Odah said that the umbrella group’s executive would not openly endorse the government's offer.

     

    “We want to listen to the reports from the field. We’ll be getting the view of the Nigerian people,” he said.

     

    NLC’s national executive committee, representing about 200 trade unionists is the body that will decide on whether to call off the strike.

     

    On Friday, world oil prices fell after hopes arose that a deal between the Nigerian government and the country’s unions could be reached to end a five-day strike.

     

    Brent crude futures in London eased 44 cents to $27.76 a barrel after fears of a supply disruption decreased.

     

    Nigeria is the eighth largest oil exporter in the world.


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