The Petroleum Trust Fund was inaugurated by the Abacha administration in March 1995 and General Muhammadu Buhari was appointed to head the Fund which was formed sequel to the increase in the pump price of petrol to N 11 from N 3.25.
Sani Abacha, the then Head of State, had said then that the Fund was to distribute the gain from the increased price on social and infrastructural projects.
The Fund started work with an initial capital of about N60 billion in 1996 with a mandate that included the rehabilitation of roads and waterways, educational and health institutions, providing textbooks and stationery, procuring essential drugs and vaccines, providing water supply systems, reviving crumbling agricultural sectors, connecting outlying areas to the national electricity grid, extending railways and telecommunications and ensuring consistent food supply.
Buhari often referred to as Mai Gaskiya (the honest one) was apparently considered for the job mainly because of the qualities he possessed, with the Abacha led government feeling that would douse the tension generated by the increase in fuel prices. With time however, allegations started flying that the PTF was no more than another avenue for the Abacha administration to siphon funds.
On assumption of office in 1999, Chief Obasanjo disbanded the PTF. One of the discoveries made by the administration was that between its inception and July 1999, the funds that accrued to the PTF stood at N 181 billion. It was also found out that the Consultants appointed by the Executive Chairman of the Trust Fund, Gen Buhari constantly fleeced the country of funds running into billions.
In 2000, the Obasanjo administration set up an Interim Management Committee to take a look into the affairs of the Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund and ascertain among other things, how much has been spent by the PTF so far and what is on ground to justify the huge expenditure. The Committee the set to work and accomplished all the terms of reference by March 2000.
Obasanjo prior to the 2015 presidential election cleared Buhari of all allegations of corruption levelled against him while in office.
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