Petroleum Ministry Spends N98.4M On Leaflets, Senate Sparks

The Ministry of Petroleum Resources has been probed by the Senate, Public Account Committee over the payment of N98.4m for the printing of leaflets.

According to reports of the Auditor-General for the Federation’s the flyers were meant to create an awareness campaign for the Petroleum Industrial Bill. Following the critical evaluation of the report, by the National Assembly, it has been gathered that the funds were released unduly.

Senator Matthew Urhoghide, the chairman of the Senate Panel,  has also revealed the payment of N39m into two peoples account for monitoring the ministry’s project within the Federal Capital Territory.

According to the query issued by the Auditor General of the Federation, it read that “Contrary to the procurement process, an entry in the cash book for the sum of N98.4m was made in favour of a company for printing of leaflets for awareness campaign programme for the Petroleum Industry Bill”.

The query also read that, “There was no formal award of contract and it was also observed that the approval for the payment was via memo presented by the Director (Press) to the Ministerial Tender Board meeting of 9th and 11th October 2013. The permanent secretary had been requested to take procedural disciplinary measures against the erring officers in line with provisions of extant regulation.”

The ministry has however responded in a written response to the query that, “Adequate publicity was made: M/S Dangrace and Partners Limited were selected based on proven capabilities and competence. It should be stated that veritable costing proposals were submitted and approved before the authorisation for the award and production of Petroleum Industry Bill leaflets”.

The Senate Panel has however made it known that they are not satisfied with the response and has requested that the money be refunded to the account of the federation.

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Esther Ifeoluwa

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