By: Ashley Broadbelt January 1st, protesters filled the streets of Nigeria following the government’s announcement to remove fuel subsidy, which would subsequently cause an increase in gas prices.
GoodLuck Jonathan, President of Nigeria, faced heavy criticism from the public. Originally the plan was to increase the fuel price from about 65 naira per liter to approximately 141 naira per liter
Jonathan stated that the cut would save at least $8 million a year.
“The typical Nigerian has no money to buy a car or a bike,” said Ihejirika. He added that the Nigerian government should not have to subsidize the lifestyle of those who are already rich and Congress should use money for a mass transit system.
As a result from the strike, the Nigerian government and the trade workers were able to reach an agreement. . On January 16th, protests were suspended as President Jonathan announced the reduction in the price of gas was down to approximately 95 naira per liter.
The strikes in Nigeria hit home to Lincoln University as Political Science professor, Dr. Chieke Ihejirika, witnessed the protest in person from the day it began.
According to Ihejirika, the protests had a deeper meaning, beyond the oil issue, particularly the country’s politics.
“It was ill-motivated by the labor elite, who are part of the problem,” said Ihejirika.
The oil protest was just a small factor of a complex situation in Nigeria, which is the largest country in Africa that exports oil to other countries, including the United States.
Political Science and History student, Ubong Ikpe, agreed, stating that 99% of the Nigerian Population live in poverty and the oil subsidy would not have an impact on their lives.
“I do believe that the ones who are enlightened are driving the country into the right direction,” Ikpe said.