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Nigerian labour leaders enter strike talks with president

Nigerian labour unions entered talks with Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan Sunday, aimed at ending the long-running dispute over fuel subsidies. Union leaders backed down from threats to shut down the country's oil output.

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AFP - Nigerian labour leaders entered talks with President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday in a bid to end a week-old general strike and protests that have shut down Africa's most populous nation.

The country's two main labour leaders and other union officials entered the talks with Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, two state governors and the labour minister.

They did not comment upon entering.

Negotiations on Saturday at the presidency failed to reach a compromise to end the strike over soaring fuel prices.

However, the mediator in the crisis, Senate President David Mark, had earlier in the evening said the government had reached a decision on how to move forward.

Aides said Jonathan was expected to give an address later in the night, though it had not been officially confirmed.

A nationwide strike and protests that began January 9 has brought tens of thousands into the streets and shut down the continent's largest crude producer.

The strike was put on hold for the weekend, but labour leaders said it will resume on Monday if a deal is not reached.

The walkout followed a government move to end fuel subsidies on January 1, which led petrol prices to more than double overnight.

 

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