Friday, 13 February 2015

South South Got The Biggest Projects From PTF Under Buhari (SEE STATS)

Contrary to claims of lopsided siting of the intervention projects executed by the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) in the geo-political zones, the South-South zone got the biggest share of the projects under the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari.

This development and other disclosures were contained in a document obtained by LEADERSHIP. The PTF was an intervention initiative put in place by the late Sani Abacha regime which was operated from 1995 and 1999 to invest in socio-economic infrastructure – including in road transportation and waterways, water supply, food supply, health and education – the gains that would accrue from a new pricing regime for petroleum products introduced in October 1994, from N3.25 to N11 per litre, an increase of N7.75 per litre.

During the four years of its operation the resources available to the PTF according to findings, is less than 10 percent of the nation’s budget.

From its inception in May 1995, and more particularly from January 1996 when it received its first disbursement, the PTF worked diligently in the execution of its mandate through its programmes, with an objective of resuscitating the nation’s collapsing social services and deteriorating infrastructure.

According to findings, a working formula was adopted by the Fund that recognized three categories of projects and allocated funds available to them: federal projects, 48.5%; state projects, 50% and FCT direct allocation, 1.5%. The state project funds in turn were allocated to respective states/zones using a set of criteria that gave consideration to equity, population, land/water mass, terrain difficulties and needs assessment. The location and coverage of the PTF programmes and projects were designed to carefully fulfill these criteria.

In terms of allocations made to fund PTF projects as at May 1999, out of an estimated total of 187 billion Naira to all projects and programmes, about 56.5% was committed on projects in Zones 1 (South West), 2 (South East) and 6 (South South), i.e. the zones in the south of the country. Zones 3 (North West), 4 (North East) and 5 (North Central) had a combined allocation of about 43.5%. Indeed, in terms of difficulties in natural terrain, the projects in Zone 6 (the South South), such as road construction, were the most capital intensive. The highest zonal commitment was on capital projects in this zone, with 26.2%.

In terms of actual disbursements to projects by May 1999, 52% of all disbursement was made in respect of projects in Zones 1 (South West), 2 (South East) and 6 (South South).

Shortly before the inauguration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, Buhari submitted his resignation from the Board of the Fund. The rest of the Board of Trustees effectively became dissolved at the point of scrapping the body, in late June 1999.

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