13 Jan 2012

Nigeria union threatens oil shutdown

9:50 am on 13 January 2012

Nigeria's largest oil worker union has threatened to halt oil production if the government doesn't reinstate a fuel subsidy.

The subsidy's removal on 1 January more than doubled the price of petrol and provoked a nationwide strike which began on Monday.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was meeting union leaders for the first time since strikes began in an effort to end the stoppages.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (Pengassan) said it had put all production platforms on red alert in advance of the shutdown.

The Nigerian government depends on oil exports for about 80% of its revenue, the BBC reports.

The country is Africa's biggest oil exporter and the unrest has helped raise world prices.