SERAP asks Buhari, Sylva to explain how Petroleum Ministry spent N116m on pens, others

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to use their leadership positions “to urgently probe how N116 million was spent by your Ministry to buy biros, letterhead, and toners in 2015, and to disclose the amount spent on the same items between 2016 and 2020, and if there is evidence of misuse of public funds, refer the matter to appropriate anti-corruption agencies for prosecution.”

The Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation had last Thursday before the Senate Public Accounts Committee revealed that officials of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources spent N116m to buy biros, letterhead, and toners in one year, and alleged “contravention of the Public Procurement Act 2017 by the Permanent Secretary.”

In the letter dated 12 December 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], the UN Convention against Corruption and African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption require the government to ensure that Nigeria’s resources are used effectively and efficiently, and in a manner consistent with the public interest.”

SERAP said: “An effective and efficient ministry ought to keep careful track of how it spends public money, and put in place a system to eliminate corruption, mismanagement, unnecessary, inefficient, or unreasonable expenditures.”

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