Thursday, January 12, 2012

Nigeria's oil economics fuel deadly protests

On the streets of Nigeria, we bear witness to what many see as a bold decision on fuel subsidies is also uncovering decades of frustration and corruption.

On the heels of re-election, President Goodluck Jonathan lifted fuel subsides on petrol in an effort to cut $8 billion a year from the government's budget. Petrol was artificially low at U.S. 45 cents a liter and -- not surprisingly -- prices doubled overnight, both at the pump and on the black market.

Economists suggest the New Year's resolution pushed through by the president was the correct policy to implement on paper, but politics is eventually determined by what happens on the street. And the "street" right now is crying foul.

Nigerians launched a nationwide strike on Monday. Some protests over the end of fuel subsidies were marred by clashes that left 16 people dead and 205 injured, according to a tally collected Tuesday by the Nigerian Red Cross. Read More