Petrol suppliers cut price to encourage Nigerians to travel to vote again
By Felix Onuah
ABUJA, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Nigerian fuel suppliers have cut
the price of petrol to encourage people to travel to vote in
presidential elections this Saturday after the poll was delayed
by a week, the information minister said on Wednesday.
The electoral commission announced the delay early last
Saturday just Nigeria's 84 million registered voters were
preparing to head to the polls. The election is now scheduled to
take place this Saturday.
Both of the main parties have expressed concern that this
would result in a reduced voter turnout, in part because people
who were registered to vote in a different part of the country
to where they live would be unable to afford to travel after a
wasted trip last Saturday.
Information Minister Lai Mohammed said the Independent
Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had cut the
price of petrol at the pumps to 140 naira per litre from 145
naira. The discount will apply from Friday to Monday.
Mohammed also told reporters the National Union of Road
Transport Workers, which has about 2 million members who operate
bus routes nationwide, had agreed to provide discounts to
travellers "looking to travel to their respective voting
Two airlines had also offered discounts to people who showed
their voting cards.
President Muhammadu Buhari faces a tight contest against
businessman and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, the main
opposition candidate, to lead a country that has Africa's
largest economy and is its top oil producer but is plagued by
corruption and a wide gap between rich and poor.
The election has been fought over Buhari's handling of the
economy amid fragile growth and growing unemployment as Nigeria
recovers from a recession in 2016. Rising insecurity, notably in
regions under attack by Boko Haram and other Islamist militants,
is also a big worry.
(Reporting by Felix Onuah;
Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram;
Editing by James Macharia and Angus MacSwan)
First Published: 2019-02-20 15:33:12
Updated 2019-02-20 16:26:51
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