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Petroleum Minister Summoned over N1.1 billion Contract Scam

By on August 12, 2012

Petroleum Minister, Diezani Madueke

The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Madueke, and a contractor over a contract scam involving N 1.1 billion.

The Petroleum Ministry awarded a contract in 2009 to a contractor to supply  a dive support sea-going vessel to the  Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) Effurun, Warri, Delta State.

The contractor was paid in full 3 years ago, but no supply has been made. In addition the government has been exposed to $2,000 a day in demurrage, totaling over N 600 million for a phantom ship as it were.

The Auditor General of the Federation had recommended that the contractor refund the money to the Federal Government immediately and with interest.

Last week, the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) invited the minister and the contract to come and explain why the money was paid and collected on a contract that has not yet been performed.

The Acting CEO of the PTI said the vessel was in the custody of the Nigerian Embassy in Singapore, but the lawmakers are not convinced that the vessel even exists.

Hon Ajibola Muraina, Chairman of the Upstream Committee said, “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.”