The Nigerian Senate, based on a report, has unravelled how a Management staff of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources paid N145 million media campaign fund on the Petroleum Industrial Bill to himself instead of awarding the contract to competent and technically experienced companies.
The allegation was contained in the 2015 Auditor General Report, which was submitted to the Senate Committee on Public Account, chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide.
The query reads: “The total sum of N145 million was approved by the Ministerial Tender Board and paid to a management staff for electronic billboard advertisement, television jingles and newspapers publication for the campaign awareness of the Petroleum Industry Bill, instead of contract award to competent and technically experienced companies though open competitive bidding in order to ensure transparency and accountability.
“Invoices and receipts of payment from the purported companies and agencies, whose services were engaged in the implementation of the programme, were not tendered for audit.”
After the query was read, the Chairman of the committee asked the representative of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Godwin Akubo, to respond to the allegation.
The Ministry in its response said: “Director of Press has wealth of experience with coverage.
“His key role or involvement bridged the gap between the Ministry and Media houses based on the public relations.
“He helped to fast track and reached out to target audience in good time therefore, his service was blessing to the Ministry.”
After the presentation, the representative of the Permanent Secretary was unable to tender invoices and receipt of the N145 million for Petroleum Industry Bill media campaign.
Angered by the development Senator Urhoghide sustained the query and demanded for the refund of the N145 million to the Federation Account.