Africa & Middle East Headlines

Nigeria: National Strike Enters Second Week as Talks Break Down

New talks between the federal Government and labour unions on the deregulation of fuel prices and the downstream fuel industry have broken up, sending a national strike against the measure into a second week. The Government had hoped to avert a shutdown of oil production threatened by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), but both political and trade union leaders confirmed that three hours of talks had failed to reach a compromise. 


UAE: Government in JV Talks on Oman Refinery

The United Arab Emirates is in talks with Oman with a view to jointly producing a refinery at Duqm on the Omani east coast. In a statement published on the Economic Ministry websites, UAE Minister of the Economy Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri  (pictured) confirmed that he met with officials in Muscat to discuss the project. 


Nigeria: Fuel Subsidy Protests Turn Violent

Strike and protest action against the Government’s decision to remove fuel subsidies, which led to a doubling of prices last week, has turned violent with the deaths of 16 people two days of national protests, according to a Red Cross tally. An attack on a mosque in Benin City killed five and led thousands of Nigerians from the north of the country to flee, raising concerns that opposition to the move was stoking religious strife. 


Nigeria: Lawmakers Move to Abolish PPPRA

Members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives have moved to scrap the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) following the abolition of fuel subsidies on January 1. Deputy Minority Leader Kawu Sumaila (pictured) said that 200 of the house’s 360 members had indicated support for a bill to abolish the agency, which he plans to introduce as soon as the house reconvenes. 

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