Nigeria: How Petroleum Ministry Staff Awarded N145m Contract to Self – Senate

The Senate has queried the Ministry of Petroleum Resources for awarding an N145 million media campaign contract on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to a management staff.

The query is contained in a 2015 report of the Auditor-General of the Federation, which is being considered by the Senate Committee on Public Account.

The committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, is probing the expenses of federal government’s agencies.

The query was raised when the representative of the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Godwin Akubo, appeared before the committee to defend the allegation.

It reads: “The total sum of N145 million was approved by the Ministerial Tenders Board (MTB) and paid to a management staff for electronic billboard advertisement, television jingles and newspaper publications, for the campaign awareness of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), instead of contract award to competent and technically experienced companies through open competitive bidding 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.”

Responding to the query, Akubo said the management staff, a Director of Press, had a wealth of experience with media coverage.

“His key role or involvement bridged the gap between the ministry and media houses based on public relations.