Nigeria unions and govt resume fuel subsidy talks today
Talks are due to resume today, Saturday between Nigeria’s labour unions and the government, with reports that the government has offered to restore half of the fuel subsidy but the unions are demanding the entire subsidy be restored.
The removal of fuel subsidy has caused petrol prices to more than double and sudden hike in transport fares and food prices, however a movement of unemployed Nigerians has said it now has second thought on opposing President Goodluck Jonathan government's decision to remove fuel subsidy.
A nationwide srike enters its sixth day today, but Nigerian trade unions on Friday announced a two-day suspension of street protests.
The trade union said the suspension of the street protests would allow more talks with the government.
The talks with President Jonathan and his officials lasted late into the night Thursday, with the unions describing it as fruitful, though no agreement was reached.
Protests around Nigeria have resulted into violence and deaths in some parts of the country.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said over 4,000 people have been temporarily displaced and more than 600 injured in Nigeria, since the protest and strike began against the fuel subsidy removal.
In a press release received by WADR Friday, the ICRC has said it was providing support to the Nigerian Red Cross to treat those injured in the recent wave of violent protests and communal tension.
But the Deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Nigeria, Mamadou Sow said most of the displaced people have begun returning to their homes.
The ICRC said some hospitals were facing staff shortage because of the five-day old strike in Nigeria and some Red Cross volunteers were providing first aid and other assistance.
The Council for Unemployed Nigerians, which is said to have over 30 million members, is calling on its members to withdraw from the ongoing protests against fuel subsidy removal.
The President of the Council, Utoeko Ndoaye told a news conference in Abuja, that the group now understands why the Federal government had withdrawn the subsidy on fuel.
WADR's Abuja Correspondent Martins Martins reports.
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