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Senate queries Petroleum Ministry for spending N14.5m on pens

The Senate has queried the Ministry of Petroleum Resources for spending N14.5million on pens, N46 million on letterhead papers and N56million on tonners.

The query is contained in the 2015 report of the Auditor-General of the Federation, submitted to the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, which is probing the expenditure of Federal Government agencies.

The query reads, “The contract for the supply of Schneider pens worth N14.5 million was split into smaller packages of less than N5million each, awarded to four different companies in order to circumvent the permanent secretary’s approval threshold of N5million.

Similarly, the contract for the printing of the ministry’s letterhead papers worth N46million was also split and awarded to 11 different contractors.

Also, the contract for the supply of tonnes worth N56million was split and awarded to 7 different contractors.’’

Responding to the query, a representative of the permanent secretary, Godwin Akubo, who appeared before the Senate panel, said the contract awards followed due process.

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

The sum of N46.6 million used for printing of letterhead papers followed due process and the large sum of money is explained by the volume of the papers produced for most departments,’’ he said.

Not satisfied by the defense, the committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, sustained the query and asked for the refund of the money from the officers involved.


Daily Trust


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