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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 June 2007, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
Nigerian: 'I will stay at home'
Lagos entrepreneur and resident Taiwo Ogunloye, 39, tells the BBC's Fidelis Mbah how he foresees the general strike planned for Wednesday affecting every aspect of life, just as the fuel price increases have done to the Nigerian people.

Fuel vendors try to sell fuel to a motorist on Lagos-Ikorodu highway, Nigeria
Many Nigerians sell fuel for a living
The recent increase at the pumps has virtually affected every aspect of day-to-day activities.

Before former President Olusegun Obasanjo handed over power, the price of petrol was 55 Nigerian naira ($0.43) per litre. Now it has gone up to 75 naira ($0.59).

Invariably that affects the price of kerosene and I depend on the trading of kerosene to support my family.

I buy the fuel in bulk and then my wife decants it into small bottles and sells onto people who can only afford to buy small amounts at a time to for their cooking.

With 1,000 naira I used to be able to buy 15 litres. But now one litre costs me 85 naira ($0.67) and so I can only buy 12 litres.

Our family income is reduced by 20%.

But everything else has gone up in response to the price hikes - tomatoes, bread, all foodstuffs, clothes, transport... a loaf of bread used to be 100 naira ($0.78) but now it is between 120 and 150 naira ($1.18).

Even rent has gone up because landlords have seized this opportunity to also increase their rates.

Master over the servants

Those who are in power don't really know how we feel. They have opportunities at their beck and call. If the president wants to go out now, he doesn't need to buy fuel.

The president doesn't feel what we, the people, are feeling.

Nigeria's new President Umaru Yar'Adua
I foresee the strike going ahead because the government will not be seen as a coward
Taiwo Ogunloye
Lagos entrepreneur

On Wednesday, me and my family are going to be part of the strike. I will stay at home, watch TV, that is if there is light because the strike will affect every aspect of life now.

Before we know it, the social life of people will stall.

Today, in the banks there are queues of people waiting to withdraw their money. The planned strike has sent an alarm into homes. "Go and collect your money," meaning that if your home is not well-stocked financially, you might be stuck at home.

If there is no compromise between government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) then the result of the strike will be terrible on the state of the nation. It will almost kill every aspect of commercial activity.

But I foresee the strike going ahead because the government will not be seen as a coward. They want to be the master over the servants.



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