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Fresh N1.1 billion contract scandal hits Ministry of Petroleum Resources
Problem started yesterday in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Abuja, over the N1.1 billion payment made to a contractor for the supply of a dive support sea-going vessel to the Federal Government-owned Petroleum Training Institute, PTI, Effurun, in Delta State.
In a report filed by the Auditor-General of the Federation, it was recommended that the contractor should refund the money. The same report signed by the Director, Programme and Performance, Audit Department, Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, A.O. Ajao, directed that the said sum be refunded with the payment of interest to the Federal government of Nigeria.
This development came up as a result of the order given last week, by the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), to the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the contractor to come before it in order to defend a project that was duly signed but never executed
The Hon Ajibola Muraina’s led committee had decided to summon the Petroleum minister and the contractor because it is now clear that payments have been made on a vessel that had not been supplied after three years of payment.
Muraina said the Acting Principal/Chief Executive of PTI, Mrs. Nnenna Dennar, had reported that the dive support sea-going vessel was in the custody of the Nigerian Embassy at Singapore, but the National Assembly had gathered that the vessel may not have been bought in the first place.
It was a big shock to members of the House who were on an oversight function, when they were told that another N900 million was needed to convert the vessel to a dive-support ship, an amount that is equivalent of what was used to purchase the vessel.
“To us in the National Assembly, the vessel may not be existing, if you are paying demurrage, it means you have taken delivery, you have not taken ownership”, Muraina had affirmed