Thursday, December 8, 2022

Increase in fuel price inevitable: Dangote

“They (the federal government) want to increase VAT, people shout. They want to charge the right pricing on petrol products, and some people say no,” Mr Dangote said.

• April 8, 2021
Aliko Dangote
Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group

Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group, declared that a fuel price hike is inevitable as the federal government will not function without taxes and increase petroleum products prices.

Last February, Peoples Gazette reported that seeking to strike an edge over other key players in Nigeria’s lucrative oil sector, the Dangote Group had proposed a provision in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) banning the importation of oil by companies without refining licences.

“How do they expect a government to function without paying taxes. But you have to pay tax. They (the federal government) want to increase VAT, people shout. They want to charge the right pricing on petrol products, and some people say no,” Mr Dangote said. 

With such a stalemate, Mr Dangote said, Nigerians needed to shift ground.

“So where is the money going to come from? So, it is a collective responsibility. If you want to be safe, you have to contribute your own quota to be safe. It doesn’t come that cheap,” he added.

He stated this during a dialogue session in Abuja on Wednesday, set up by the National Peace Committee, co-chaired by a former military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), and the Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah.

Dangote has been constructing a facility with up to 10.4 million tonnes in petrol refining capacity per year in Lagos.

Its founder and promoter Aliko Dangote claimed the development would help spur investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, but he has now moved to corner most of the deals for himself by lobbying lawmakers and federal authorities to insert a clause that will make it difficult for other industry players to import refined products once his own facility comes on stream.

The group proposed that only companies with licences to refine should be allowed to import fuel whenever demands surpass available fuel or when a refinery is undergoing maintenance.

Dangote’s business dealings are not without taints, according to the United States.

The U.S. described the group’s business strategies as disastrous to the Nigerian economy.

A report published in 2010 on Wikileak’s website said even though Dangote played a major role in Nigeria’s economy, “many products on the country’s import ban list are items in which it has major interests.”

“Although an undiluted success in terms of wealth accumulation, Dangote personifies the duality in Nigeria’s economy,” the American government said while maintaining that the duality “presents a dilemma for country’s economic policy.”

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