Nigeria has announced it is ending the subsidy on domestic fuel prices; a decision certain to increase prices of petroleum products.
The removal of subsidies was conveyed by the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPRA), in a statement issued on Jan. 1. The statement, released by Executive Secretary Reginald Stanley, said the downstream sector of the petroleum industry had been deregulated with regards to petrol and the subsidy had been removed.
Consumers are assured of adequate supply of quality products at prices that are competitive and non-exploitative and so there is no need for anyone to engage in panic buying or product hoarding, read the statement.
The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, said the government had spent more than $8 billion on subsidies and was looking forward to using future savings to improve the country's infrastructure.
Meanwhile, a joint statement, condemning the move, was issued by the Trades Union Congress and the Nigerian Labor Congress. The two principal labor organizations in the country said: We alert the populace to begin immediate mobilization towards the D-Day for the commencement of strikes, street demonstrations and mass protests across the country.
Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer but lacks refineries and the necessary infrastructure, as a result of which it has to import refined products like petrol.