Nigeria labor unions protest higher electricity prices

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Labor unions in Nigeria staged nationwide protests on Monday over recent increases in electricity prices following the removal of subsidies by the West African nation’s government.

The unions made up of government workers were picketing offices of public electricity utilities in major cities as they asked authorities to counteract price hikes that have worsened the country's cost of living crisis.

Electricity rates more than doubled for some consumers in April, while the government will save at least $788 million in subsidies this year, authorities have said.

It is the latest measure by President Bola Tinubu’s government to cut costs as Africa’s most populous country struggles with declining revenue due to dwindling investments and chronic oil theft.

Protesting workers said they are frustrated that Nigeria’s chronically erratic power supply has not improved despite the higher prices.

Joe Ajaero, president of the Nigerian Labor Congress, the umbrella body of the unions, told reporters in Abuja, the capital, that the country cannot continue to increase electricity rates and that union members were coming out to underline how Nigerians feel about it.