Monday, January 16, 2012

Prices and Anger Rise in Nigeria, Presaging More Strikes

15 January 2012


LAGOS, Nigeria — After five days of strikes, protests and national paralysis over a sharp rise in the government-controlled price of fuel, Nigerians emerged from their homes this weekend to find the fragile calculus underpinning most people’s lives in the country further threatened.

The price of onions has more than doubled because of the cost of getting them to market. Dried crawfish, hot peppers and watermelon seed are twice as expensive. Lines of cars stretch far down dingy blocks in the gray winter haze, waiting to pay about $3.50 a gallon for gasoline that cost just $1.70 on New Year’s Eve.

The standoff among the Nigerian government, the labor unions and the street continued Sunday, with vows of more strikes and protests on Monday unless the government backs down and brings back cheaper gasoline.

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