RESEARCH: Key Findings PASGAR, IDS Want Nigerian Public to Learn, Discuss from Fuel Protests and their Effects

RESEARCH: Key Findings PASGAR, IDS Want Nigerian Public to Learn, Discuss from Fuel Protests and their Effects

In their efforts of conducting social and policy researches with the consideration of the participants and policymakers before and after, the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research and the Institute for Development Studies will have a research dialogue meeting with the Nigerian public on Thursday March 4, 2021. These organisations are regional and global think tanks located in Kenya and the United Kingdom.

PASGAR also known as Utafiti Sera (Kiswahili for research-policy) is a combination of many things that ensure and enhance policy outcomes. PASGAR believes in evidence uptake and use to transform Africa. In this regard, IDS has been one of its key partners over the years.

In a statement released by one of the researchers, who carried the study in Nigeria, Professor Ayobami Ojebode of the Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, our analyst learnt that researchers from the two organisations studied fuel protests in Nigeria for the last two years.

“As part of rounding off the research and learning from all stakeholders, we are organising a stakeholders forum to share the findings of the research and receive feedback and advice. The study of particular interest to union leaders, transporters, civil society organisations, academics, players in the downstream oil sector, government officials, and citizens.”

The statement wants the public to join the dialogue, which would be held on Zoom by 10.00 am WAT, through https://zoom.us/j/99064237488. The researchers from the two organisations specifically studied attempts to remove or reduce subsidy by different administrations in Nigeria from 1973 to 2021.

“Protests take place and lead to a downward review of the prices of petroleum products; in a few cases the protests barely take place. In 2012, the protests were widespread and led to significant policy initiatives (especially SURE-P). Since 2015 fuel prices have continuously gone up (once, down) but labour and the activists have not succeeded in getting people out onto the streets.

In effect, they seem to have lost the ability and legitimacy to lead the people’s side of the tussle. This has negative implications for the subsidy-related contentions that sometimes bring reprieve for citizens, even temporarily. In the study reported here, we examined how labour and others lost that role, and we draw out lessons on how to lead the people’s side of a volatile tussle such as the fuel subsidy issue,” the partial report of the study says.

In line with the focus of the research, our analyst notes that the meeting would afford the stakeholders opportunity of gaining insights on reasons for participation or not in fuel-related protests, leadership tactics of the protest leaders, and government’s responses to the protests.

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