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Friday, January 13, 2012

The 5th Day...

I haven't had Internet access on my computer since Wednesday, so I thought I'd take the few minutes I have access today to write a bit more about the strike.  The labor union leaders and Good luck Jonathan met yesterday to discuss a solution to the ongoing nationwide labor strike because of  Goodluck Jonathan's decision to remove the fuel subsidy on January 1st.  To put this in a better perspective, I read an article...not sure where head seems to be spinning from all the info.  Since gas is sold here in liters the price of gas here before Jan.1 was about 65 naira a liter ( about $.40) and it went up to about 130 naira a liter or $.80 per liter overnight on Jan. 1.  To convert this from liters to gallons it would be about $2.50( or a little more) per gallon without the fuel subsidy...
When you take into account that 70 percent of Nigerian make 2 dollars a day or less, this becomes a HUGE deal to them. ( Not to mention the rise in transport and food, and generator fuel).
This strike has entered its fifth day today with the head of the labor union for offshore oil production announcing yesterday that they would stop offshore oil production in Nigeria if the government does not return gas prices back to 65 naira a liter... ( Nigeria exports a lot of oil to the U.S.)
So far near our compound, it has been very quiet.  I took the kids out to the tennis court to play since school was cancelled for the fifth day in a row and Guy's office is closed for the fifth day due to the strike as well.  We could hear very distant megaphones of people leading protests over on Ikoyi.
Click here for a recent article from CNN about the Labor strike here in Nigeria.  This strike is very different from the strike my first year living here.  That strike was a union with the company Guy works for.  This strike is HUGE .  It is nationwide closing down stores and the airport.  We are all hoping and praying that this strike will end peacefully this weekend.  I think the kids have been inside too long...they are asking me to go to school!!!:)  To my friends and family, though, please know we are tucked safely inside the giant purple building!:)

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