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Nigerian Legislatives urge President to shelve plan to remove fuel subsidy

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Venusg
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PostVenusg on Sat 08 Feb 2014, 8:53 am

The Lawmakers of Nigeria on
Wednesday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to remove the fuel subsidy as
from next year, fearing the policy
could heighten the already tense
situation in the oil-producing country.
Jonathan announced in September that he planned to commence a phased removal of
the fuel subsidy beginning January 2012, to release funds
for infrastructure projects and to
create jobs.
The Nigerian economy has lately come under strain due to declining productivity following
crippling energy shortages, a weakened local currency, as well as security concerns following bombing campaigns by an
Islamist sect Boko Haram.
The Senate President, David Mark and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, led lawmakers to the
meeting with the President, where Nigeria's Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala sought to convince the lawmakers on the
imperative of removing the subsidy to save the country's
economy.
Meanwhile, the governors of Nigeria's 36 states have endorsed the plan as the subsidies had hit Naira 1.26 trillion ($8.4 billion) in the first nine months of this year alone.
But labor unions and civil society groups have already threatened a general strike, should the
government go ahead and abolish the subsidy, which is
seen as the only benefit enjoyed
by most Nigerians who live on less than $2/day.

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