‘Obasanjo Created Subsidy To Cheat Govt’



DESPITE recent call by former Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, for an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT), an expert has warned that “government will collapse in no time,” if the suggestion is followed.

“I am sure and I hope President Buhari would not do this,” said former KPMG Chairman and former Minister of Finance under the Sani Abacha government, Etubom Anthony Ani.

“We don’t need to increase VAT because all we need do is send people to the local governments to collect it. At the moment, consumers pay VAT. You have to consume. And individuals are the ones who consume, not goats or trees. These individuals stay in various local governments of Nigeria. Let the VAT collector go to the local governments. The VAT is waiting for him to be collected. I estimate that we will be having about N3tr annually, if the VAT man goes to the local government. We don’t need to increase VAT; let us collect what has not been collected,” said Ani, who is also a former President of the Chartered Institute of Accountants.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Guardian, recently, Ani faulted the petroleum subsidy scheme, describing it as a ruse and calling on government to instead “get the nation’s refineries right.”

According to the former Minister of Finance, “There is nothing like subsidy in Nigeria. Obasanjo did that to assist people to cheat this nation. We had a situation where one person was given the sole right to import diesel, yet we could have produced the diesel.”

He said: “What is happening is that the template Obasanjo brought in for petroleum products was importation-based. I, and Aminu Saleh and Buhari drafted the Petroleum Trust Fund (PFT) law and it was based on production. Let us go back to production. When you produce, you have by-products and those by-products are even more expensive than your barrel of oil. Therefore, if you do the production costing properly, you will find out that the cost of production of your litre of oil is much less than what we are importing.

“Therefore, let us go back to the issue of changing the template to that of production. What we are doing now is that the driver in this country is subsidising what is produced in petro-chemicals and fertilisers because all the by-products go there, and they are going there at zero cost. Whereas, if you do it properly, you will find out that what is going into petro-chemicals, the costing is even more expensive than a barrel of oil. So, let’s get our acts right.”

  • Daniel

    Is any one listening in Aso Rock? A word is enough for the wise.

    • Damilola

      When the president is junketing around the globe, who is to listen or take action? How do you expect his economic team to get some sense into his head when he’s not even available. He saddled Osibanjo with the economy, but I believe he’s not being empowered to make the decision in that respect. If not we wud have seen some reasonable response on salient issues affecting the economy. When Buhari comes back from his tourism, he will be tired, he needed rest, before he could finish resting, there is another trip waiting for him, then he flies out again and spend at least 2 to 3 days. Loolz… it seems his function and purpose is seeing the whole world before parking up. He’s more of a foreign minister than a petroleum minister. I don’t know why he opted for the latter, he has failed woefully and still failing drastically in that capacity, foreign minister wud have covered his shame at least his supporters wud have had something tenable to say.

      • Tonnero

        Don’t be foolish. You really think Buhari has the capacity to understand the economy better than Kemi Adeosun, Nasir El Rufai, Soludo, Enelamah etc? This social media access is giving buffoons the opportunity to spew garbage in public spaces. Ani is expressing his opinion. There are thousands of economics who will challenge him on every single point he made. Afterall, as a former finance minister that could have implemented these policies, why did he not do it? You may not even be smart enough to know that he is speaking for Buhari since they worked together in PTDF and Buhari and David West have also said there is no subsidy when every person knows there is. My friend, start thinking rather than abusing people and make your contributions. He has failed woefully as Petroleum MInister after six months? You must be smoking something bad. Tell me what you were expecting to see in six months. New refineries built and the old ones working? He should have increased oil prices to $100/barrel? Production should have gone up to 4 million barrels per day? Fo0L is all I can call you for dabbling into things you obviously know nothing about.

        • Damilola

          I know it when I’ve offended someone after hitting em hard with no where to run to or hide there heads, they spew us the rotten part of em.

          6months is too early to start seeing changes? You’re very brilliant sir. If I may ask you sir, are you aware of the FDR’s tenure in US in 1933? Do you know that economic recession is? Are you aware he inherited the same plight, even as far worse than that of your Sacred President? Are aware he pushed 500 substantial bills withing 100 days in office? Are you aware he recorded a landmine in that state at that period? Are you aware Buhari is not alone in the plight of inheriting empty and demoralised treasuring?( of which his is that of pretence and cheap blame game), you must be aware Roosevelt didn’t perform miracle then as Obama was given same coin in 2008 and turned everything around. It didn’t take this people a whole 4yrs Mr. Wisdom. If Buhari can achieve what Roosevelt achieved in 100 days in his fours years with the turn things are taken that means some supernatural beings must have joined his cabinet in the subterranean.

          Change is a burning heart, ones given the opportunity it picks up. Obama almost named his cabinet the day of his inauguration. Within a week a substantial cabinet had been known. Why? Because he had a template he so much believed in that drove him to aspire for the white house and in addition to that dream, there are some enviable characters he knew could deliver on those dreams. It didn’t take him 5months to do that.

          Tanzania is an example very close to us here. Did you by chance listen to the man’s inaugural speech? In there, one could deduce at least 40% shape of govt is taking in that state. Her policy of tax, power and others were made known. What policy was contained in Baba’s long mirage message? Look, the moment you give ur heart to wisdom and clear thoughts, you will have no problem understanding life, politics, and good governance. If you can open ur “drug free mouth” to crave indulgence in the length of this administration for her inactions and failures then you must go back and take holy water as you’re the holiest, and the holy don’t take smoke.

  • share Idea

    What nonsense is this man talking, was there no subsidy under IBB and Abacha, how could he say that Obasanjo introduced subsidy? Buhari helped in drafting PTF law, please tell that to the marines.