Nigerian union threatens to shut oil production amid strike

AFP , Wednesday 11 Jan 2012

Oil workers in Nigeria are waiting for the outcome of a meeting between labour and government, if the outcome is not favourable, crude oil production will be shut down

A Nigerian oil workers union on Wednesday threatened to shut down crude production in Africa's largest oil producer as a nationwide strike over soaring fuel prices pushed on for a third day.

"We are contemplating shutting down oil production," said Tokunbo Korodo, Lagos head for oil workers union NUPENG, one of two unions in the oil industry which mainly represents blue-collar workers.

"We are just waiting for the outcome of discussions between labour and government today. The outcome of that meeting, if not favourable, will lead us to shutting down oil production."

While the strike that started on Monday has virtually paralysed the country and brought tens of thousands out into the streets nationwide, oil production has not been affected so far. Nigeria produces around 2.4 million barrels per day.

The strike was called over a government move to end fuel subsidies on January 1, which caused petrol prices to more than double in Africa's most populous nation where most people live on less than $2 per day.

Unions are calling on the government to return fuel prices to 65 naira per litre ($0.40, 0.30 euros), the level before January 1. 

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