|Nigerians Protest Lifting of Motor Fuel Subsidy|
The announcement marks a significant policy reversal for the Nigerian president who is facing one of the most challenging periods of his two years in office. The concession comes 16 days—and a week of paralyzing strikes—after Mr. Jonathan completely scrapped the subsidy in an attempt to raise an estimated $7.5 billion for infrastructure.
Since the subsidy's removal, tens of thousand of protesters have swarmed major city centers, and Nigeria's top two labor unions have staged strikes, demanding full restoration of the subsidy—viewed by many as the only benefit Nigeria's poor have enjoyed from its oil wealth. Last year, the subsidy had kept a liter of gas at 65 naira, but government officials said corruption and fraud made the program wasteful. (WSJ, 1/16/2012, photo courtesy WSJ)