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Nigerian unions continue strike over oil subsidies

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Nigerian unions continue strike over oil subsidies
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Nigeria was deadlocked for a third straight day on Wednesday amid an ongoing general strike in protest at the scrapping of oil subsidies.

The government ended the subsidy programme at the start of January. It cost the state nearly six billion euros last year.

Since then, the price of a litre of fuel has leapt from the equivalent of 31 euro cents to 66 cents, angering the country’s poor.

President Goodluck Jonathan has said he wants to re-invest the money in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Economists have argued that keeping fuel prices artificially low would have eventually bankrupted the country.

The unrest, which has left three people dead, has so far failed to disrupt oil production, although one oil workers’ union has raised the possibility of joining the strike.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest crude oil producer but relies heavily on imports of fuel due to a lack of refining capacity.