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Vol 53 No 2

Published 20th January 2012


Nigeria

How the fuel row caught fire

An unwieldy and spontaneous opposition has won its first battle against the government; now it needs a strategy

Nobody in government, least of all President Goodluck Jonathan, seemed prepared for the torrent of opposition excited by the decision to end fuel subsidies. This doubled the retail price of petrol on New Year’s Day. The inflationary effect of the new fuel prices on goods and services was devastating for poor people and lost the government any goodwill it had picked up since April’s elections. Many know that the main beneficiaries of the subsidy are a cabal of crooked oil traders, so they ask why the government can’t pursue them and keep the fuel cheap for the public.

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