Wednesday, January 18, 2012


This Day
16January 2012

Bits and Bobs

by Ijeoma Nwogwugwu

The last two weeks plus have thrown up several issues and an assortment of emotions. Some of them mind-boggling, others frustrating, some hair-raising, others downright hilarious, while some were bizarrely profane. Today, this column will not focus on one particular issue, but will attempt to review the mishmash of positions that have been thrown up by the deregulation of the downstream oil sector:

(Un)shifting Grounds
Starting from the last 48 hours, it is obvious that the talks between the federal government, on one side, and labour and civil society, on the other, ended without a deal because both sides could not reach a compromise. On the part of labour and civil society, on N65 they stood, forgetting that labour, which commenced negotiations with the government earlier last week, had said that both sides were “shifting grounds”. So what could have happened between Thursday and Saturday that resulted in the volte-face?

The federal government, on its part, came on African Independent Television yesterday morning to state that it offered to suspend the deregulation policy and adopt a phased approach to deregulation. Through the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, the government stated that the suspension of deregulation does not mean a reversal to the price of N65 per litre, but a reduction in the price while an agreement is reached on phased deregulation.

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