Sunday, 13 December 2020

How Petroleum Minister spent N14m to buy biro pen

It has been reported that the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources spent a whopping N14.5M to purchase schneider biros.

The shocking revelation was contained in the 2015 audit report by the office of the auditor general of the federation (AuGF) to the senate. The report also stated that the ministry spent N46m to print the ministry's letterhead and N56m on toner for its photocopy machines.

Explaining further, the office of the Auditor General said in oder to circumvent the permanent secretary's approval threshold of N5m, the contract for the supply of Schneider biros worth N14.5m was split into smaller packages of less than N5m each and was awarded to four different companies.

The report revealed that in like manner, the contract for the printing of the ministry's letterhead worth N46m was also split and awarded to 11 different contractors. Following the same pattern, the contract for the supply of toners worth N56m was shared among seven different contractors. 

Taken aback by such revealation, the senate committee, led by Mathew Urhoghide, senator representing Edo south is currently scrutinising the report, the senate committee and has called on the permanent secretary to explain this contravention of the Public Procurement Act 2007."

In his responds, to the query, Godwin Akubo, who represented the petroleum ministry, said: "The action of the ministry was a quick response to the needs of the various departments in the ministry of petroleum resources."

These awards followed normal rules and procedures," he insisted.
He insisted that the ministry did no wrong as due process were followed in awarding of all the contracts. Stating that the contracts were not split. They were awarded to the various contractors at different times when items were needed.

He said the N46.6m used for printing of letterhead followed due process and the large sum of money is explained by the volume of the produced for most of the departments."

 Not satisfied with such explanations, the senate committee chairman has asked the committee secretariat to document the money spent and ask for the refund from the officers involved in the ministry