Labour unions marched across Nigeria on Wednesday to protest the soaring cost of living under the West African nation’s new president, with calls for the government to improve social welfare interventions to reduce hardship.
Usman Abdullahi Shagari, health ministry worker:
"The removal of fuel subsidy has increased (the cost of) almost everything in the country so far, but precisely if we talk of transportation, for one to transport himself from his house to his office , or those that are in the market, everyone is complaining."
In Abuja, hundreds , watched closely by police, marched down a main thoroughfare chanting and singing against the subsidy cuts that have led to the rising cost of petrol in the oil-rich nation.
The unions, made up of government workers, said the economic incentives announced this week by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu to ease hardship were not enough.
They also accused him of failing to act quickly to cushion the effect of some of his policies, including the suspension of decadeslong, costly subsidies that have more than doubled the price of gas, causing a spike in prices of food and most other commodities.
Joe Ajaero, president of the Nigerian Labour Congress, umbrella union body:
"The option of continuing this protest for a longer period is open to us. It depends on the approach of the Nigerian state that will determine the level that we will we do this action today."
The demonstrations were organised by the Nigerian Labour Congress, the umbrella body of the unions.
Large numbers of protestors were reported in Lagos and the capital Abuja.