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Senate: How Petroleum Ministry paid N14m for Biros, N46m for letterheaded paper

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Senate has uncovered how the Ministry of Petroleum Resources spent N14.5 million for the supply of Schneider Biros, N46 million for the Ministry’s of letter headed papers and N56 million for the supply of tonners.

The members of Senate Committee on Public Account chaired by Senator Mathew Urhogbide were shocked by the exorbitant of money spent on biros, letter headed papers and tonners in the Ministry.

The exposition of the mismanagement of public funds was contained in the 2015 Auditor General of Federation before the lawmakers.

The query by Office of Auditor General of the Federation reads, ” The contract for the supply of Schneider biros worth N14.5 million was split into smaller packages of less than N5 million each was awarded to four different company in order to circumvent the permanent secretary’s approval threshold of N5 million.

“Similarly, the contract for the printing of the Ministry’s letter headed papers worth N46 million was also split and awarded to 11 different contractors.

“Also, the contract for the supply of tonnes worth N56 million was split and awarded to 7 different contractors.

“The Permanent Secretary has been requested to explain this contravention of the public procurement Act, 2007.”

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Urhoghide thereafter asked the representative of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Godwin Akubo to respond the query by the auditor general of the federation.

The Ministry of Petroleum Resources in its response said, ” The action of the Ministry was a quick response to need of the various department in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

“These awards followed normal rules and procedures.

“The contract were not split. They were awarded to the various contractors at different times when item were needed.

“The sum of N46.6 million used for printing of letter headed papers followed due process and large sum of money is explained by the volume of the letter headed papers produced for most of Department as per attached different letter headed papers. ”

Not satisfied by the shoddy defense of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, the Chairman of the Committee sustained the query and asked the Committee Secretariat to document the money spent and asked for the refund of the money from the officers involved in the Ministry

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