The Senate Public Account Committee has been queried over a senior civil servant in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources awarding himself N145m meant for the media campaign on the Petroleum Industrial Bill.
The query which contained the 2015 Auditor General for the Federation report currently being surveyed by SPAC was chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide.
The query reads, “ The total sum of N145m was approved by the Ministerial Tender Board and paid to a management staff for electronic billboard
“It is meant to create campaign awareness for the Petroleum Industry Bill.
“The contract award should have been made to competent and technically experienced companies through open competitive bidding in order to ensure transparency and accountability.
“Invoices and receipts of payment, which should be from the purported companies and agencies, whose services were engaged in the implementation of the programme, were not tendered for audit.”
The Chairman of the Committee at the panel sitting on Thursday requested the representative of Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Godwin Akubo to respond to the allegation.
The Ministry said, “The Director of Press Affairs has a wealth of experience with coverage.
“His involvement bridged the gap between the ministry and media houses based on public relations.
“He helped to fast track and reached out to target audience in good time therefore, his service was a blessing to the Ministry.”
But Akubo was unable to tender invoices and receipts of the N145m which the ministry spent to carry out the Petroleum Industry Bill media campaign.
However, Urhoghide announced the sustenance of the query and demanded the refund of the N145m to the federation account.