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October 06, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Nigeria Raises Gasoline Prices More Than 300%: Buses and cars stayed off the roads and thousands of commuters walked miles to work in Nigeria to avoid paying the staggering increase. The nation's military government set gasoline prices at 11 naira, or 50 cents, a liter, down from 68 cents on Monday but still more than three times as much as last week's price of 14.5 cents. The fuel price increase, which critics say is a response to pressure from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, pushed up prices for food and transport as much as 200%, confirming fears that the higher price will boost inflation that is already punishing Nigeria's 90 million people. Military ruler Gen. Sani Abacha said the government had to cut the fuel subsidy. Nigeria is "floundering in the throes of a situation whereby we spend 65% of our total revenue on recurrent government expenditure, while 30% goes to service our debts," said Abacha, who is also facing a political crisis over the military overriding election results.

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