The short version of the story goes…
On January 1, 2012 the Nigerian government shocked Nigerians by suddenly announcing a 117% increase in fuel costs, an unwelcomed rise to the 70% of Nigerians who live in poverty.
The government’s reasons for doing this was that it could no longer afford a subsidy that kept the price of fuel low, and they had to make some adjustment somewhere to save money for use in other developments. This, despite the fact that the government admitted that there was rampant corruption in the petroleum industry.
Nigerians were naturally upset that their rich leaders, instead of tackling head-on that corruption, as well as all their extravagant spending, chose to instead impose the burden on the citizens. And so, Nigerians of all classes took to the streets, demanding fairness and justice – protests that eventually brought to the surface the countries long-standing political corruption and ethnic division wounds.
Fueling Poverty, a 30-minute short documentary, captured the zeitgeist, creating a gripping, visceral film that documents the uprising, directed by Ishaya Bako, with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
Watch the full film below, which was uploaded to YouTube in December: