From Uche Usim, Abuja
Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva has reacted to reports of N116 million spent by officials of his ministry on stationery, noting that those involved have either retired or have been redeployed to other ministries.
Sylva made the disclosure in a statement by his media aide, Mr Garba Deen Muhammad.
The statement explained that the infractions occurred before the present leadership of the ministry.
He said: “The general public should note that while it is true that the auditor-general raised audit observations on infractions committed by the ministry of petroleum resources, these infractions related to the 2015 accounts of the ministry of petroleum resources,” the statement read.
“It should further be noted that these infractions appeared in the 2015 report of the Auditor-General for the Federation which is presently under consideration by the public accounts committee (PAC) of the senate.
“The public should further note that those indicted by the report of the Auditor-General of the Federation have since been retired or redeployed out of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in line with the practice in the civil service.”
The statement added that the officials are currently being investigated by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
A 2015 audit report submitted by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF) in December 2020 had said officials of the petroleum ministry spent N116 million on stationery.
A breakdown showed that N14.5 million was spent on the purchase of Schneider pens, N46 million to print the ministry’s letterhead and N56 million on toner for its photocopy machines in 2015.
The audit report is currently under scrutiny by the senate public accounts committee, led by Mathew Urhoghide, senator representing Edo South.