The nationwide strike is causing oil exports to decline. There is a
nationwide fuel shortage because the fuel truck drivers have been off the roads
for a week. If the government rescinds the increase, the government will have
to pay for it, because refined fuel has to be imported at a higher price than
it is sold for. That argument doesn't fly with the unions or most Nigerians,
because they know that most of the oil revenue, over the last half century, has
been stolen by corrupt government officials. Cheap gasoline is one way to get
some of that oil wealth, if the price is low enough.
June 22, 2007:
Russia has sent some of its Special Forces commandos to Nigeria, to
assist in freeing kidnapped Russian citizens.
June 21, 2007:
The army attacked a rebel held oil production camp, killing twelve
rebels and freeing 27 hostages.
June 18, 2007:
Gunmen attacked and captured an oil camp in the Niger Delta, taking 27
employees captive. The oil camp operates wells that produce 40,000 barrels of
oil a day.
June 15, 2007:
The Joint Revolutionary Council, which says it speaks for all the rebel
groups in the Niger Delta, said rebel operations would be suspended because the
government had released a senior rebel leader, and was now willing to talk
peace. But five more foreigners were kidnapped in the Niger Delta, despite
increased security measures. The ransoms are attracting more kidnappers, and
many of these gangs answer to no one. Meanwhile, unions are planning a national
strike, to get fuel price increases reversed, to begin on the 20th. Some truck
drivers, particularly those who move fuel, have already gone on strike. Because of corrupt politicians who wanted to
sell gasoline, oil rich Nigeria has little refinery capacity, and imports most
gasoline, and other refined petroleum products. The government loses money on
that, because the prices are too low. Recent eight cent gasoline price
increases, to about $2.23 a gallon, has caused massive unrest.