IMF oil price increase fuels protests

15 April 2000

Threats of oil prices rises sparked protests in Nigeria in December. The IMF has put the government under pressure to cease subsidies for oil which it claims distorts the market. The NLC, the main trade union body in Nigeria, opposes the increase on the basis that ordinary Nigerians cannot afford higher fuel prices. The workers carried posters calling for the removal of President Obasanjo’s economic adviser, Philip Asiodu, who is regarded as too pro-IMF. Banners read: “Obasanjo, don’t aggravate our poverty, stop the fuel price increase now”; and “Remove Asiodu, IMF agent in government”. Addressing workers, union leader Adams Oshiomhole said, “We are on a mission to rescue the president [who has] been hijacked by the IMF and the World Bank and the Asiodus. This country belongs to Nigerians.”