Renown economist, Sam Aluko died on Tuesday 7th February 2012 in a UK hospital at the age of 83.
Sam AlukoBorn on August 17, 1929, Aluko began his early education at St Mary’s School, Ode Ekiti in 1936.
At age 11, young Aluko left his village for Ado Ekiti where he attended Emmanuel School and later Christ’s School. He progressed to the University of London, on a Western Region scholarship, and obtained a 2nd Class Honours Degree in Economics.
After his education, Aluko embraced teaching and administration as a profession. He was principal at ZIK’s College of Commerce, Sapele and vice-principal at Lagos City College. Overtime Aluko acquired a reputation for his critical stance on government policies.
While still a student in London in the 1950s, Aluko often and openly criticised the budget of the government of Obafemi Awolowo, that to shut him up, the Western Region withdrew his scholarship and requested that he returned to Nigeria.
University authorities however replied that should the scholarship be withdrawn, the University would take over and foot the bill.
Thereafter he was sent a letter of congratulations signed by Awolowo himself. Aluko later became a close confidant and adviser on economic policies to Obafemi Awolowo.
Aluko served as economic adviser to Generals Abacha and Abdulsalami Abubakar. He also advised former Ondo governor, Michael Ajasin during the Second Republic.
However, the economist was renowned for his idea which introduced the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) under General Sani Abacha. Aluko, also, proposed the idea of the Value Added Tax (VAT).
Many notable economists passed through him in his days in the University of Ife where he was the first Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. His economic philosophy tows the lines of John Maynard Keynes.