Nigerian anger heats up as petrol price skyrockets

Nigerian motorists and unions were venting their anger yesterday at a sudden more than doubling of fuel prices, a day after government subsidies were removed in a sweeping economic reform that could trigger mass protests. Opposition leaders, unionists and local rights groups have condemned the move by the state’s fuel regulator, which they say will heave up prices in a nation already too expensive for the majority of its citizens living on less than $2 per day. Many fuel stations in the capital Abuja and main commercial city Lagos were shut yesterday while they waited to figure out how to adjust their prices. Those that were open were jammed with queues and selling at prices of up to N150 per litre, up from a fixed price of N65 before. “This is a bad New Year present from the government,” said David Akpe, a motorist at pump site in Abuja, as a queue of about 30 cars formed behind him. The measure risks bringing public wrath down on President Goodluck Jonathan, who says it is needed to reform the economy.


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