Page 11 - Aruba Today
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                                                                                                                 Wednesday 18 May 2016

Nigerian oil output, naira fall amid attacks, strike threats 

                                                                                                                                      Massive protests forced       Buhari took over a year
                                                                                                                                      the previous government       ago from President Good-
                                                                                                                                      to shelve plans to do away    luck Jonathan, whose
                                                                                                                                      with a fuel subsidy in 2012,  government is accused
                                                                                                                                      when oil cost more than       of looting billions of dol-
                                                                                                                                      $100 a barrel. Today it is    lars from state coffers.
                                                                                                                                      around $40, a price raised    Militants in the Niger Delta
                                                                                                                                      in part by Nigerian cuts      have resumed attacks and
                                                                                                                                      in output. Prices of food     forced oil majors to evacu-
                                                                                                                                      and electrical goods have     ate some workers. There
                                                                                                                                      doubled while tens of thou-   are reports that the new
                                                                                                                                      sands of workers have         group Niger Delta Aveng-
                                                                                                                                      not been paid in months.      ers is sponsored by politi-
                                                                                                                                      Many angry Nigerians say      cians in the south, where
                                                                                                                                      the government could not      Jonathan is from, to sabo-
                                                                                                                                      have chosen a worse time      tage Buhari. The president
                                                                                                                                      to drop the fuel subsidy,     has deployed thousands of
                                                                                                                                      though shortages forced       troops to the area, where
                                                                                                                                      people to pay double the      the Avengers are demand-
                                                                                                                                      fixed price anyway.           ing a greater share of oil
                                                                                                                                      Despite the country’s         wealth and protesting cuts
                                                                                                                                      wealth, some 70 percent       to a 2009 amnesty program
                                                                                                                                      of Nigerians live below the   that paid 30,000 militants
                                                                                                                                      poverty line, according to    to guard installations they
                                                                                                                                      the United Nations.           once attacked.q

 In this Friday, Jan. 13, 2012 file photo Hundreds of people demonstrate during a nationwide strike
following the removal of fuel subsidy by the government in Lagos, Nigeria. 

                                                                                                                    Associated Press

Associated Press               million barrels. The slump     leaders on religious and
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Mili-    means Angola is now Af-        ethnic lines. Those from the
tant attacks on oil installa-  rica’s biggest oil producer,   mainly Muslim north, like Bu-
tions and the threat of a      with a steady production       hari, are against the strike
nationwide strike drove Ni-    of nearly 1.8 million barrels  while Christians who domi-
geria’s petroleum produc-      daily, according to the Or-    nate the oil-producing
tion and its naira currency    ganization of Petroleum Ex-    south are urging citizens to
to new lows Tuesday.           porting Countries.             “Occupy Nigeria!”
The naira fell to 350 to the   Nigeria’s National Labour      Unions representing oil and
dollar on the parallel mar-    Congress and the Trade         electricity workers, as well
ket, against an official rate  Union Congress, which say      as pilots, rejected the strike
of 199, amid reports and       they represent 6.5 million     call even before the Na-
denials that President Mu-     workers, and some civic        tional Industrial Court issued
hammadu Buhari’s govern-       organizations called for a     a restraining order Tuesday
ment plans an imminent         strike Wednesday to pro-       pending a hearing on the
devaluation, bowing to         test a 70 percent increase     justice minister’s request for
demands of the Interna-        in gasoline prices, prompt-    the court to rule whether
tional Monetary Fund in ex-    ed by the removal of a         the strike is legal.
change for soft loans.         government subsidy on gas      “I don’t want people to
Nigeria’s oil output           and shortages of foreign       be subjected to hardship,”
dropped to 1.4 million bar-    currency. Nigeria is depen-    Judge Babatunde Adeju-
rels a day, Oil Minister Ibe   dent on imports with oil ac-   mo said. “There will be scar-
Kachikwu said Monday,          counting for 70 percent of     city of food, people may
endangering a budget           government revenue.            die, students will engage in
based on production of 2.2     The crisis is dividing labor   all sorts of activities.”
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