OP-ED

Sakher al-Wajeeh as Finance Minister vs. him as parliamentarian

National Yemen

Sakhar al-Wajeeh

Mohammed al-Abssi

There are two different faces on Sakher al-Wajeeh, from his days as Finance Minister in 2009, to becoming a parliamentarian in 2014.

2009: People said that the diesel subsidies lead to corruption. I said “No,” the corruption is in who manages it, and he should be punished if he is a smuggler.

2014: There is no longer a solution to avoid an economic catastrophe except raising subsidies on oil derivatives.

2009: Some say that where there are subsidies, there is corruption. This is the wrong statement, and is said only in Yemen. The correct one is where there is a corrupt official, and corrupt management, there is corruption.

2014: The problem is that the government sells oil products by a lower price than the cost of buying them.

2009: Sometimes support comes to create a social balance for a segment of human beings. But when is corruption found? The answer is when the one who runs this support is corrupted. Administration and officials are corrupted in Yemen; therefore, support doesn’t go to those who deserve it.

2014: Financial returns from the sale of exported and locally used crude is less than the value of imported petroleum and that which is produced from Aden and Marib refineries.

2009: Powerful countries such as Japan and United States are struggling with each other because the United States wants Japan to stop its support for the Japanese farmer who grows rice while the United States supports cotton and grain farmers.

2014: There are no powerful countries.

2009: The problem is the monopoly of distribution of oil derivatives contracts by two traders (al-Issai and Fathi Tawfiq) who are trading with state funds. The only oil trader is the state, it is the only one responsible for smuggling.

2012: Reconciliation government renews the contracts of oil derivatives distribution after they were stopped in September 2010.